The Baptist Times News Round Up
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Welcome to this week’s Round-up, where there are lots of announcements about key roles. BMS has appointed a new General Director; Spurgeon’s College a new Principal; the Baptist Union president for 2018-19 is now known after voting ended last month. We pray for each as they make preparations for these ministries.

Elsewhere a new piece of research highlights just how important it is to equip parents in nurturing their children’s spirituality, and which even has a special Baptist supplement. There are reflections about resettling vulnerable Syrian Refugees, and what keeps us going, reviews, baptisms, jobs and more, including a look at what's in store at next month's Baptist Assembly. Bookings close on 24 April.

Have a blessed Easter (and if there is a baptism in your church, I’d love to hear about it!)
Paul Hobson
Faith and Society Editor/Writer


 BMS appoints news General Director
Come and be inspired! Assembly 2017
The importance of resourcing Christian parents
‘Come and be inspired!’ - Assembly 2017
That’s the message from Lynn Green and David Kerrigan as this year’s Baptist Assembly moves ever closer

Benefit changes criticised by churches
JPIT says Government’s new two-child limit is "deliberately ignoring" needs of some of the UK’s poorest children

Key communications from the April Baptist Steering Group

'Help parents nurture children's spirituality'
The importance of resourcing Christian parents is revealed in new report from Care for the Family and HOPE - and a Baptist response already taking shape

BMS appoints new General Director
Dr Kang-San Tan will take up the role of BMS General Director after David Kerrigan retires

Presidency nomination for minister with love of science
David Gregory - or Dr Dave who runs a Messy Science Lab - will be our Union's President in 2018-19

New Principal for Spurgeon's College
The Revd Professor Philip McCormack MBE, currently a senior chaplain in the British Army, will be the next Principal of Spurgeon's College, it has been announced

Minister tops national comedy heat
Baptist minister Allan Finnegan has stormed into the semi-final of the English Comedian of the Year

Prince and Professor debate love
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan joined Baptist theologian Paul Fiddes for a debate on love in Islam and Christianity

Doctor to receive BWA human rights award
Cynthia Maung will be the 2017 recipient of the Baptist World Alliance Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award


'Love now, in the midst of the mess'
Key message from conference of Hope into Action, which provides homes in partnership with local churches

The shaping of lives for Christ's service
An interview with Paul Goodliff on his latest book, which explores how we form Christian ministers

Why do Christians clash?
Churches are more vulnerable to conflict than any other group or organisation. Why?

What keeps you going?
I wouldn’t be going anywhere without my kaleidoscope of pills, writes a Baptist minister living with heart disease. But they’re not enough on their own

Resettling Vulnerable Syrian Refugees
A minister whose church is exploring housing a refugee family reflects

Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston
A book of daily readings from the Hillsong founder and senior pastor

Compassion and the Mission of God: Revealing the Invisible Kingdom by Rupen Das
Das provides an excellent theological foundation for anyone interested in social justice and relief

The Eagle by Vicki Gibson
Thought-provoking children's fiction that raises questions about some of life's biggest conundrums

Baptisms and other notices

Lockwood Baptist Church, Huddersfield: Abbas

Know anyone preparing for baptism? Check out our range of cards

Baptism stories

'Poignant and delightful baptism'
Minister Brian Davison shares news of another baptism at Lockwood Baptist Church in Huddersfield

It was a delight on Sunday 5 March to baptise the fifth of our Iranian baptismal candidates.

Having been detained for removal to Germany, Abbas was unable to be baptised with the others on 5 February. However, he was released at the end of February, after much prayer for him, and returned to Lockwood, where the baptistery had been kept open as we prayerfully awaited his return. He was thrilled to be able to be baptised at LBC, whom he considers to be his new family.

The service was al the more poignant and delightful because the church had prayed and fought (legally) for him to be allowed to be baptised here, among his Christian family.

He told in his testimony how it was the character of those he later discovered to be Christian that had led him to find out more in Iran, and how delighted he was with the love and care he found here.

Jesus had enabled him to forgive and to love those who had persecuted him.

The sermon focused on how God had been with him through all of this, and how God had used him in the detention centre, to minister to others in distress, despite his own distress at being removed from his friends.

We gave thanks for answered prayer, and as we were getting changed he told us that he had been only seven steps from the plane door when the news came he was being released to come to Lockwood.

Thanks be to God for what he has done in this young man's life, and continues to do in his church.

COCKER, the Revd Barry L: 1944-2017

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  • Regional Team Leader, Southern Counties Baptist Association
  • BUC Director and Trustee Role within Baptists Together  
  • Director of Ministerial Formation and Training Spurgeon's College
  • Ecumenical Accompaniers


Thy Kingdom Come - 25 May - 4 June
Join the global wave of prayer.  Baptist churches are being invited to take part in a global wave of prayer in the period between Ascension and Pentecost 2017.  Thy Kingdom Come is an initiative of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and seeks to unite Christians in praying together for people to know Jesus Christ.  It was commended by the Baptist Steering Group at its last meeting.  Click here to find out more and order or download resources.

Moving Stories
Migration has always been a part of the human story, and there are several accounts of different people movements in the Bible.  These nine new studies bring a blend of biblical, historical and contemporary material and have been written by people whose own stories have been shaped or impacted by a significant people movement.  The studies aim to enable individuals and groups of people within our churches to think about migration, in the light of the word of God in the Bible. 
Click here to download Moving Stories.

New resource from the Joint Public Issues Team
Conversation Welcome: Exploring the future of the UK after the EU referendum
The resource is designed to bring people, with their many different thoughts, hopes and concerns, together and  help churches explore the important underlying questions about the sort of society we wish to live in and wish to leave to future generations.
New books by British Baptists
Several new books have been published by British Baptists recently, covering history, theology and ministry. Click on the titles for more information about them:  
Challenge and Change: English Baptist life in the Eighteenth Century – edited by Peter Morden and Stephen Copson
Gathering Disciples: Essays in Honor of Christopher Ellis – edited by Myra Blyth and Andy Goodliff
Shaped for Service: Ministerial Formation and Virtue Ethics - by Paul Goodliff

Join the global wave of prayer
Exploring the future of the UK
New studies to reflect on migration
Copyright © 2017 Baptist Union of Great Britain, All rights reserved.

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