Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Partners in Mission - Park Baptist Church

Park Baptist Church in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, is one of our EBA churches that have benefited from your Home Mission giving in different ways.  The church is in an area of deprivation yet has been very active in seeking out people groups who are not usually reached with the Gospel.

A growing number of Portuguese speaking people, workers from other cultures, were congregating in the Great Yarmouth area. The church wanted to offer ministry to these people but there was a language barrier. They sought help from Jorge Damasceno, who was then a church planter among Portuguese speaking migrant workers in the UK. They had a minister but there was no way they could support two ministers. Home Mission offered a grant to enable the church to call Revd Leda Schofield to work among the Portuguese speaking congregation in Great Yarmouth.

The congregation meet separately and they also meet together with the English congregation as the church seek to develop fellowship and learn from one another. One of the ways the church has sought to make contact with people in the town was their coffee shop. In a corner of town which also hosts a sex shop and a tattoo parlour the coffee shop came to life thanks to a Mission Project Grant from Home Mission. It was then made possible by a group of older people from EBA churches who were gathered and led by David and Marie Thompson (at Burlington BC in Ipswich). The Thompson’s organised working parties on the shop and transformed it from a dingy premises into something bright and functional, a place to welcome those who may not ever consider going to church, but who need to know that God loves them and that Jesus died for them. Sadly, the church has had to be realistic and cannot staff the shop at the moment but we do pray that they will be able to take full advantage of this facility in the future. It is still being used for special projects but they cannot open it on a regular basis for the time being.

During the past year the minister at Park, Revd Derrick Hill, retired after 11 years at the church. The church are now in the settlement system seeking a new Senior Pastor to work with Leda, the English congregation and the Portuguese congregation. When any church is seeking new ministry, the settlement system, our vehicle for matching minister and churches, is funded by your Home Mission giving.

People come to faith in Jesus through this ministry. People grow in faith through this ministry. Despite being in an area of economic deprivation, because of your partnership in Mission, through your Home Mission giving, a light shines in the darkness and the light of Christ is revealed.