The Baptist Times Weekly News Round-Up
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News and views from across the movement

This edition features news of a landmark court judgment that could have a far reaching effect for refugees in Calais. The legal victory was the result of many coming together to fight an injustice, and highlights the importance of organisation and working collaboratively, according to a Baptist campaigner involved. To this end we highlight the need for interpreters to help vulnerable refugee children.   

This week saw the launch of Eco Church, a new award for churches, and the successor to Eco Congregation. Former Baptist Union President John Weaver, whose presidency focused on creation care, explains why churches should consider investigating what it means to be an Eco Church.

We have a brief focus on this year's Baptist Assembly, and news of a major commemoration marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Baptist founding father Thomas Helwys. Our reflections look at the folly of trying to be trendy, how consumerism impacts our faith, and covenant.  

Paul Hobson
Faith and Society Editor/Writer

Landmark judgment for Calais refugees
Campaigners celebrate landmark court judgment that could yet see dozens stuck in Calais being allowed to join UK-based relatives

Brief guide to this year’s Baptist Assembly
Want to exchange ideas and be inspired by fellow Baptists? How about sharpening your thinking on one of the biggest issues of our time? Or hearing how your support can transform one million lives for the better?

The launch of Eco Church
John Weaver reports on the launch of a new eco award for churches, the successor to Eco Congregation.

Divided by borders, united by purpose
More than half a million refugees have entered Croatia, and Baptists have been part of the response, writes Elvis Dzafic

Major commemoration of Thomas Helwys
2016 marks 400 years since the death of the founder of the Baptist denomination, aged just 40

One hundred years of conscience
A significant moment in 'peace history' was marked by a service at Heaton Baptist Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne


Becoming trendy for the Gospel?
Doesn't actually work.The call to sacrifice just might

Is consumerism killing your faith?
“I choose a church where they play the songs I like, worship the way I want, where I do what I choose”

Some thoughts on Covenant
Covenant isn’t easy, but an important, healthy and life-affirming mark of our shared commitment to walk together, with God

The Baptist Pension Scheme
Questions and answer session with Chris Maggs, Moderator of the Trustee Board for the Baptist Pension Scheme

What happened next? Herod the Great
Our celebrations of Christmas may be over, but the story of our Lord's arrival and life continue

Ampthill Baptist Church, Bedfordshire: Beth Vickers
Calvary Baptist Church, Cardiff: Katherine Evans
Delves Baptist Community Church, Walsall: Amy Taylor, Leanne Archer and Amara Ezekude
Godalming Baptist Church, Surrey: Anthony Weedon, Mark Richards
Green Fields Baptist Church, Crawley West Sussex: Jo Staunton
Gunton Baptist Church, Suffolk: Lesley Thompson and Darren Black

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

Send your baptism notifications and stories to

Baptism stories
The Revd Bill Miles writes: 'At 78 I was called last year to be Interim Pastor here at the Green Fields Baptist Church in Crawley, West Sussex.
'Jo's baptism was the first for my ministry here and the first in about five years, so we are praising God - a sign of hope for the future!'

WHITFIELD Margaret (wife of the Revd Raymond Whitfield) died suddenly on 13 January 2016. A memorial celebration of her life will be held at 1.30pn on 2 February at West Bridgford Baptist Church NG2 7NF.

LAWRENCE Susan Ivy, born 8 July 1922, passed away at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, aged 93.
Susan became a Christian through the ministry of the Baptist Mission Society in India where her parents were missionaries.  She trained as a nurse and served in a number of countries sharing her skills and her love of Jesus.  Her last years were served in her local Baptist church at South Harrow where she was instrumental in bringing a number of people to Christ and to His church.
Her funeral service will be held on Wednesday 17 February 2016 at South Harrow Baptist Church, all are welcome.


Various opportunities to serve in Union life (trustee and committee member roles)
Children's and Youth Worker, Newport Pagnell Baptist Church     
Pastor/Minister, Muff Field Chapel
Regional Minister - South West Baptist Association
Regional Team Leader - East Midlands Baptist Association
Team Leader - London Baptist Association Regional Team

For more information on all these positions, visit


Baptist Assembly 2016
Bookings for this year's Assembly, taking place on 14 May in Oxford, are now open

Speak Arabic, Amharic or other key languages? Safe Passage is helping people who have a legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK to claim asylum - and needs more interpreters

Harrow Baptist Church has 150 copies of the old hymnbook Praise for Today it no longer needs, which are free for anyone who would like them. If you would like them contact Lin Artus on

The Baptist Historical Society is seeking a Honorary Treasurer, who will be a charity trustee. The role is significant but not too onerous in time.  There are three committee meetings per year in central London (travel expenses remunerated) and presentation of the Annual Accounts at the BHS AGM.
If you are interested to learn more, please contact Mr Mark Sage on 01323 733840 or for more information.




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