Thursday, 31 October 2013

Haddenham Baptist Church

Jim Mullen writes .. I said to someone recently, "just check out our website to see what we are like as a church" and a church member standing close to me at the time said, "but the website makes us look good!" And I said,that’s because we are good." What I meant was that the story of Haddenham Baptist continues to grow and sometimes when you are close up, it just seems normal, because that is what we are, growing and that's normal for us.

This past year has had its sad times with the death of some lovely Christian friends and members,but we have seen new people come into fellowship and a lot more dip their toe in. I guess if we had a trendy name it might be, "Dip your toe in Church".

An Edwardian church building right in the heart of our Fen village in CAMBS, we have a congregation of 82 but if you come on any Sunday there might only be40 to 50! Many of our congregation are either very young Christians or have not yet come to faith.

So you might see why the nick name could apply. In our rural setting to have 23 under 16s who can be part of the congregation and so we are really blessed and challenged at the same time. Our faithful children's leaders can have their hands full if all the children come at once!

We have a really fantastic programme which includes a monthly healing service and a well-attended service aimed at older people which is held in the local sheltered housing complex, but it is the young people’s work I have been asked to focus on. We have both regular and irregular aspects to the programme. From the youngest age we provide much respected and loved groups with an under3s group, The Ark, which meets weekly and provides a structured play environment. It grew so much that we have to have a waiting list and a limit geographically as we had parents from several villages coming and so when we expanded from our church hall to include the church itself, we eventually had to limit things. Similarly we have a drop in group, Jelly Tots, on another day and as that grew we were approached by the local health visitors and they asked if they could hold their baby clinic in Jelly Tots.

Since they have joined us their numbers have quadrupled! Victims of their own success has meant we have had to limit numbers again and so we have changed that to become a bumps and babies (under 1 group). We have over 80 families on our books and it is such a well-received service. Have a look on our Facebook page for the Ark,

We have seen some of the mums/ dads, start to come to our family service and Sunday club Bubbles which we have other weeks. Meanwhile we run a fantastic holiday club once a year in the Summer and Light Party as an alternative Halloween. These are so well received in our community and among the children and again do have a look at our website for photos. Of course we are still working on how we can make it easier for folks to sample us as a church, taste and see that the Lord is good!

As we get to secondary school age we run a drop in evening one Sunday a month which the kids called Sunday Night Project (I find it amusing that on Sunday nights I go out to the SNP, being Scottish you see?). We have seen several of our older teens drop off as they go to university or the world of work, but we have had an ad hoc music group descend on us for Sunday afternoons, with young people from Ramsey to Royston regularly join us in making some very loud music. We await with interest how the Lord is going to use this!

That is not to mention the Guides, or the schools work we do or our very close ties with Newmarket Youth for Christ (Oh I did mention them). So we as a Church at HBC, want to thank you all so much for the gift of Love that is our Home Mission grant which helps us do all of this and more!

This is part of a series called Partners in Mission from the EBA.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hadleigh Baptist Church

Progress of Hadleigh BC with the support of Home Mission Upon being called by the Lord to Hadleigh BC 7 years ago which back then consisted of a membership of approx 25 and an average Sunday attendance of around 45, we applied for and were given , a HM grant which was put towards my stipend .

Financially, the church was not in a position to pay the stipend without the support of HM, but from the outset , both myself and the leadership set ourselves a 5 – 7 year target to build the church up to such a level that we would eventually be able to fully operate without a HM grant .

In the years that followed we concentrated upon building relationships with the members of our local communities including our local primary school , and also with folk who have had past connections with HBC and over time, the Lord began to draw people into the church – both Christian and non - Christian. The Christians who came to us, many of whom had young families, came for all kinds of reasons, and it wasn’t long before they bega n to use their gifts in the church. This resulted in the re-structuring of church activities, including House groups and Sunday school, new y outh groups being formed along together with other groups that enabled folk from our local community to socialise with one another, including with Christians from the church.

Other activities were introduced that enabled us to continue building relationships with our local community eg summer and Christmas fayres, fellowship meals , and again this drew Christians and non - Christians into the church. During the last 7 years the church has grown numerically to the extent that our membership is now 65 and growing , with Sunday morning attendance, which includes children and young people, averaging 100.

The increase in attendance has also meant an increase in giving with many tithing and giving sacrificially (increase in people gift aid ing has also played a major part in the increase of income), and through the grace and love and providence of the Lord, 2013 saw us achieving our goal of not requiring HM support thus enabling the money to be used elsewhere. At the same time and given the current economic climate, the decision to come off HM was also a big step of faith by the church, but we firmly believe that having come off HM, the Lord will honour our decision.

The support of HM over the last 6 years has been invaluable to this fellowship as it enabled us to achieve much for the Lord, and on behalf of the leadership and the members and congregation of Hadleigh Baptist Church, I would like to say a huge thank you for the love and generosity shown to us.

Rev Paul Stow – Minister Hadleigh Baptist Church

This is part of a series called Partners in Mission from the EBA.

Halloween Video

Some of you have asked if they could have a look again at the Halloween video shown at the last service in October 2013. If you need to get the words, then click the Vimeo link on the video screen.

Halloween: Trick or Treat? from on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


This is part of a series called Partners in Mission from the EBA.

Two weeks ago almost 60 people, from 9 different EBA churches, gathered at Saffron Walden BC on the border between Essex and Cambridgeshire , for Safeguarding Training. The Level 1 and Level 2 training takes place on a Saturday morning. This is for all those who are ministers, deacons, or work with children and young people in the church. There is a Level 3 training for ministers, deacons and t hose who are Designated Persons for Safeguarding in the church. This is delivered on a weeknight evening. 

Level 1 and 2 is an intensive training session and those who volunteer to work with children and young people in the EBA churches express their commi tment as they sacrifice a precious Saturday morning. Our Regional Ministers lead the training sessions and they are booked up and advertised up to a year ahead. They are held in different parts of the Association at least once a year. For information ab out forthcoming training courses visit the EBA website and you will find them listed under “Training/Courses”. Dates for Safeguarding trainings are also published on the back page of your EBA FOCUS magazine. 

One of the things that those who come along al ways say they have valued , is the opportunity to mix with people who are doing similar work in different churches. Mingling with people from other churches always enriches the experience. In an average year some 500 people take advantage of the Safeguarding training offered by the EBA. Regional Ministers are funded from your Home Mission giving. The training they receive in order to deliver Safeguarding training to churches and the time that goes into preparing for these training sessions is funded from y our Home Mission giving. 

Each time someone in your church applies for a DBS (that’s the new name for the old CRB) disclosure, if they are a volunteer, Home Mission pays the cost of the disclosure. Those who are in paid posts pay £44 each time . We don’t want churches to feel that they can’t afford to take the safety of children seriously and so we cover the cost of volunteer disclosures for all churches from your Home Mission giving. Just consider the different ways in which churches connect with children and young people. How many opportunities do we have to share the Jesus stories, to speak of God, to pray, to answer questions, and to help children and young people on a journey to faith? Sunday School, by whatever name we give it, Holiday Clubs, after school clubs, Girls Brigade, Boys Brigade, Cadet groups, RE lessons, midweek clubs, etc. 

To be able to create a safe environment for both youngsters and for volunteers and workers is an important issue in the world in which we live and follow Jesus. Your giv ing to Home Mission helps this to happen. Thank you for your partnership in this mission.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

EBA Partners in Mission

The Eastern Baptist Association is starting a project to remind churches that each church is a Home Mission church and encourage us to give thanks and pray for what God is doing throughout the association.    Do pick up a leaflet in church.   As a church we tithe part of our income to Home Mission, so do find out more.

Each week, the EBA will be producing an encouraging Home Mission story for us.  The first week's is on Carleton Road Baptist Church.  It's village chapel was devastated by fire, but has been restored to become a centre for the local community and a hub for outreach into the community.    Click on the photo or link below to read it.


Carleton Rode Baptist Church

The second week's is a project called 57 West in Southend which is outlined below.

57 West