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

This week we feature a couple of articles from the latest Baptists Together magazine, which has been hitting doorsteps over the last few days. The edition explores the aspect of our renewed culture where we aspire to feel like one team. Lynn Green asks have we at times prized our independence over our commitment to relating to each other? Paul Fiddes briefly traces a history of Baptists and life in covenant.

Elsewhere new research suggests church is good for your physical health (and includes a 10-step guide for churches to help members live healthier lives). Walking with God is certainly something to which we all aspire, and one of our contributors has five suggestions to unpack what can be an over familiar phrase.

More Baptist news includes an update from the Baptist BME Women Ministers’ Network, the publication of the report from the Ignite Project Team, and how a Yorkshire church is helping refugees in Calais.  

There are also reports on the Baptists recognised in the latest New Year’s Honours. Have we missed anyone out? Let me know on the address below. May our 2016 walk with God (and each other) be a close one.

Paul Hobson
Faith and Society Editor/Writer

New Year's honours for Baptists
A tireless community worker, one of "the most dynamic social reformers of our age", a champion of inter-faith relations in diverse Leicester and an internationally-renown lawyer were among the Baptists recognised in the New Year’s Honours List

The Church: good news for health?
New research suggests so, as Evangelical Alliances releases 10-step guide for churches to help their members live healthier lives

Baptist BME Women Ministers’ Network
A network that provides support and encouragement to Baptist women from black and minority ethnic groups (BME) in leadership positions is looking forward to its second year

From Haworth... to Calais
How West Lane Baptist Church in Haworth, West Yorkshire and its community are helping refugees in Calais

Ignite Project Team report published
The report from the Ignite (ministries review) Project Team has now been published. Follow the link for the background to Ignite, links to the report and its summary, and the request for feedback

Baptists relating as one team
Have we at times prized our independence over our commitment to relating to each other, asks Lynn Green?

Baptists and life in covenant
Responding to God resulted in relationships of mutual trust for the persecuted early Baptists – and has shaped how we’ve walked since

Never walk alone
What does it mean to "walk with God?" Here are five suggestions

What happened next? Mary
Our celebrations of Christmas may be over but the story of our Lord’s arrival and life continue. John Rackley continues a series of meditations on what happened next to the characters in the Nativity stories of the gospels

Is God calling you to serve him overseas?
Exploring what calling is and how BMS could help if you are being called

Battle Baptist Church, Sussex: Rebecca Lewis, Poppy Thornton, Ollie Griffiths, Jenny Leah, Suzanne Martin
Bromley Common Baptist Church, London: Kayleigh Row
Cemetery Road Baptist Church, Sheffield: Reza, Matin, Sina, Mohammad, Sajad, Mohamad, Rasoul, Mehdi, Hamed, Behrooz, Hadi, Amin, Ali, Arsalan, Kimya, Edris, Mandela, Reza, David, Mohammad, Saeb, Clemantine, Grace, Kwadwo, Hassan, Kondwani, Arash, Shahram, Mostafa, Majid, Mohamad, Sadaf, Amrola, Abbas, Mohsen, Elham, Yousef, Sogol, Ann, Daniel, Dariush, Hussain, Hamid, Abbas
Fernhill Heath Baptist Church, Worcester: Zoe Aris
Spalding Baptist Church, Lincolnshire: Chris Dunne Vicki Richards
South Street Baptist Church Brierley Hill: Becky Wheeler, Tracey Tromans, Chrissy Platt and Craig Tucker
Ross Baptist Church, Ross-on-Wye: Paul Cockburn
Witney Baptist Church, Oxfordshire: Alan Band
Woodstock Baptist Church, Oxfordshire: Lauren Fox

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Baptism stories
Cemetery Road Baptist Church in Sheffield
was blessed with more than 40 baptisms in 2015. Its minister James Chapman writes:

‘We are blessed to have a diverse congregation, which over the last year or so, has been added to by a number of Iranians and Congolese asylum seekers and refugees.
‘People are attracted to the church by the warm hospitality offered and the attempt to include alternative cultural expressions where possible in the worship and through fellowship groups.
‘We are on a journey of understanding, and we are dealing with the challenges and opportunities that arise from the expectation of those new to to the church (some established Christians, some new to the faith, or seekers - including a number of Muslims) and those long-standing members.
‘The number of baptisms has 'normalised' the experience, and that has provided an opportunity for our young people to consider commitment for themselves. For those of junior school age who want to make a public commitment, we have introduced a rite of anointing with oil, to mark a journey from dedication on the road to baptism.’

Baptism joy in Leeds: What better way to start a new year than with a double baptism

CUTTS Barbara May our much loved Aunt, sister of the late Kenneth, only daughter of the late Rev Abraham Cutts, died peacefully at home on New Year’s Day, leaving her devoted friend of 60 years Jean Green, and her nephews and nieces. Thanksgiving Service at Exeter Crematorium Chapel Thursday 14th January 11.15 - any friends most welcome
Family flowers only please. Any donations in Barbara’s Memory to the Red Cross please.

RENSHAW (nee Alden) Elsie Miriam died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 98 1/2 at the residential  home in Exeter she only moved to in October.
She was a qualified Orthoptist and became a minister's wife on 8 July 1944. She shared the Revd Norman J Renshaw's ministry, including worldwide with the Camps Farthest Out organisation, until their retirement after more than 50 years. 
She outlived Norman by 7 years and is survived by 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
The Thanksgiving Service will be at 2pm on Saturday 30 January at South Street Baptist Church, Exeter, EX1 1EB. People travelling from outside the area could contact Liz Chamberlain on 01392 669918 or  to advise if they would like hot soup/drinks and a buffet lunch from 12 noon in the church hall.  There will also be refreshments afterwards.
Long term parking is available at the Cathedral and Quay car park close by.


Regional Minister - South West Baptist Association
Regional Team Leader - East Midlands Baptist Association
Team Leader - London Baptist Association Regional Team
Host-Evangelist - Northcliffe Church
Specialist Team Leader, Ministries, Baptist Union of Great Britain

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

Homeless Sunday 24 January
Homeless Sunday is a way for churches to demonstrate solidarity with people experiencing homelessness in the UK and takes place on 24 Jan. Find out more on its new website:

Immersive experience with Baptist pioneers
Interested in a few days of living alongside the ordinary life of pioneering Baptist church plants? A 4-day residential opportunity to experience and reflect on emerging Baptist churches is being offered in April.
More here:




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