Home Mission pics

Home Mission pics

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Can you sponsor these four intrepid young men?

Four guys from Clevedon Baptist Church, Phil, Sam, Jon and Luke are attempting the Welsh Three Peak challenge on the 4th October. 

That's three peaks in one day - Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen-Y-Fan. They'll be raising money for WEBA's New Church Initiative fund whose focus this year is the new missional community at Portishead led by Dan and Beth Doherty.

3 mountains in one day is a huge challenge - and so is leaving full time ministry to follow God's call to work in a community! You will encourage both our four intrepid climbers, and Dan and Beth, by sponsoring them, however small the amount you can spare.

There are two easy ways to sponsor Phil, Sam, Jon and Luke:

1. To give £10 instantly, text PSJL03£10 to 70070. (You can also send £5 - simply change the amount)

Click here to download a powerpoint slide so you can get your church to give via text!

2. You can give using your debit/credit card or paypal account using this link:

Alternatively, you are welcome to send a cheque payable to WEBA to The Old Forge, Broom Hill, Stapleton, Bristol BS16 1DN. Please mark the reverse "NCI - Three Peaks Challenge" so we can credit the amount to their total raised. 

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Totterdown Street Party

Totterdown Baptist Church held its 3rd community street party on Saturday - thanks to Bob Guscott for these photos that will hopefully give you a taste of the event, which seems to work so well in this special bit of South Bristol.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Big Picnic at Rodbourne Cheney

Thanks to Shirley of Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church in Swindon who sent us this report:

Many people from the Rodbourne Cheney and Moredon areas of Swindon enjoyed the Big Picnic on Saturday 31st May – and the weather was good! (Despite a few rain showers in the week before).
This was organised by the three Rodbourne churches: St Andrew’s Methodist, St Mary’s C of E and Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church.

Initially we were inspired by the Eden Project’s Big Picnic but we also wanted to do a follow up to our successful Community Day of 2013. We serve a God who made us to be communal so we love doing these events. A recent survey has said that the UK is one of the loneliest places to live and yet there are so many people living near to each other. (Even today the news reported a man found dead in a flat in London who may have been there for 2 years – that is tragic).
There was a peaceful but excited atmosphere throughout the whole day and it gradually became busy. There was time to chat as people ate their picnics and we are grateful to the ones who supplied and organised the stalls. Hopefully all the people on stalls would like to be part of the event next year. Many people have already signed up to help.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Clare Green of Welton Baptist Church sent us this story about their local ecumenical Pentecost event, Whitfunday, on Sunday 8th June 2014:

Celebrating the birth of the church, with local area churches, working together to provide a fun, FREE, family event. 
 This is the main vision of the Whitfunday event, which is now in it’s 10th year. 

This event is made possible by the fundraising events we organise throughout the year. A quiz night, pancake evening, skittles night and a lunch were all held to contribute towards the costs of the Whitfunday event, as well as kind donations from various local churches and individuals. Each year we are blessed to always just have enough to cover the cost of the event. Activates are booked in advance, by faith, with no budget and is always such an act of trust. 

Our prayers were answered with the weather and as a group of us arrived to set up, we were blessed with a flyover from the Red Arrows!! It certainly lifted our spirits and set the scene for the day. One by one, the event activities and entertainment arrived and set up seemed to go very smoothly. Flower arrangements were arriving, where each church volunteered to bring an arrangement that represented the Pentecost theme. What an awesome sight! 

The prayer tent had a theme of Travelling with God where you went on a journey, leaving baggage along the way to reach an ultimate destination. 

Not to mention the things to keep the kids entertained. Inflatable assault course, miniature steam train, which seemed to be a firm favourite, climbing wall where one of the Ministers managed to climb to the top, craft, face painting, hair curling, biscuit decorating - it was a hive of activity! 

 Not to mention the special guest, Duggie Dug Dug, a well know entertainer/evangelist with a heart to see children saved. His variety of juggling workshops, illusions and action songs during the Praise Party certainly drew a crowd and got everyone participating. 

 The event is well know for its abundance of food and this year was no exception. All the churches provide sandwiches, cakes and savoury snacks enough to feed more than 800 guests. This was enjoyed as we listened to the South West Division of the Salvation Army Band who were 25 strong. The whole event was a joy and a blessing both to those who helped to plan it and those who came to enjoy it. It really does demonstrate the generosity and love God shares to ALL and our prayer is that seeds have been sown and that will draw people to know and love the Lord for themselves.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Secret

What's The Secret? Tom Wharin, minister of Wotton-under-Edge Baptist Church, was actually only too happy to spill the beans for us:

The secret is still a work in progress, but the long and short of it is that with some help from Mike Sleggs from Cirencester B.C. we made a DVD called ‘the secret’ containing six testimonies of how God has changed people’s lives and gave a copy to every one of the 2500 households in town.

The films are entitled ‘the secret of hope’,  ‘the secret of peace’,  ‘the secret of new beginnings’, ‘the secret of self worth’ and ‘the secret of contentment.’   The DVD also includes a short gospel message ending with the suggestion from Rob Axford, the vicar of Wotton, that if people want to hear more about ‘the secret’ they could ask someone displaying the ‘ask me about the secret’ window sticker.

After 6 months of prayer and film making, we put posters advertising ‘the secret’ all around the town and on all the main entry and exit roads late on Easter Sunday night.  We asked the Christians to keep quiet about it and didn’t put any posters up on or near the churches.  The following Saturday night we removed all the posters and put a copy of the Secret DVD through every door in the town as well as setting up a facebook page & website (wotton-secret.co.uk) and asked every Christian household in Wotton to display the sticker.

It’s a bit early to say what the result is.  I’m convinced that everyone in the town is aware that there’s something called ‘the secret'. One or two folks were woken up by their dogs when the DVDs arrived and a few have been scandalised by the exclusivity of the Christian message on the DVDs, but generally the reception from those that have seen the film has been positive.   The number of views and hits on the online resources has been encouraging and we’ve had some new folks visiting the Sunday services.   The best thing so far though is that the people who recorded their testimonies (and some of us who have been wearing ‘ask us about the secret’ t-shirts) have had loads of new conversations about the secret / faith / Jesus over the last couple of weeks.  We’re looking at using puzzling questions in the near future to follow up on some of these conversations & in the mean time we’re devising new ways to nudge people into watching the DVDs which are sitting on their junk mail piles.  

We’ve gained a few insights into how not to do things we’d be happy to pass on, but generally speaking we’re encouraged by the way God has already used the project and are looking to him to do more.
Tom is happy to talk to any other churches who are interested in trying 'The Secret' in their own communities - please get in touch via the WEBA office, office@webassoc.org.uk

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Nature Bugs in Portishead

 This year our focus for the WEBA New Churches Initiative is the new missional community at Portishead led by Dan and Beth Doherty. Dan left his job as a full time Baptist Minister to follow a call to build Christian community in this area of rapid population growth on the Somerset coast. Here's an update from Beth, who has found an imaginative way to develop relationships with local families:

Having spent time over the last 6 months visiting many toddler groups here in Portishead I felt that there was a gap in the market so to speak for a different kind of group that would focus more on getting pre school children playing and interacting outdoors, rather than in an indoor setting. 

As we live close to Portbury Wharf nature reserve I thought I'd approach Avon Wildlife Trust to ask permission to start a walking group on the site, involving parents and toddlers in both the immediate vicinity and wider town. Having got a brilliant response from local families ‘Portbury Wharf Nature Bugs’ took off back in March with over thirty families booked on to do monthly nature walks and activities during term times. Our first few sessions have all gone really well so far and everyone involved has responded with wonderful feedback.

I feel that as a free provision for families, the group will be an extension of our friendship as church planters to the community and it’s a great way to meet regularly with families in a new context exploring our local surroundings. 

It has been widely recognised that spending time outdoors both individually and as a family greatly enhances our sense of wellbeing. I believe it’s really important for young children to develop a sense of wonder, awe and respect for our natural world and these things together create building blocks for a happier adulthood. Please pray that ‘Nature Bugs’ continues to reach families here in Portishead over the coming months and that it may have a lasting impact for the future. Thank you.

Beth Doherty

Gifts to the WEBA New Churches Initiative will continue to help us to provide accommodation for Dan, Beth and Pippa as they continue the slow process of building Christian community. We ask each WEBA church to contribute £200 per year, or £75 for smaller churches. Individuals can also support the Initiative by setting up a standing order - contact office@webassoc.org.uk to request a form.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

5 years on for the Boultons

I've lifted today's post straight from facebook, where Rev. Alison Boulton noted that it was five years since she and her family moved into an almost empty housing development on the edge of Swindon:

5 yrs ago today I had just spent the first full day living in Wichelstowe. We lived here for the next month alone. It's strange now remembering how at night security gates were locked so that no one else could access the site! 

I have loved living here for the last 5 years and seeing a new community emerge. I looked back over some photos today and it was great to see Wichelstowe children I knew in the early days looking so young and sweet! 

It's been lovely to reflect on the last 5 years - on all the community activities, the new community groups and the birth of a church.
It has been great to meet so many new people and make new friends.
Thanks to everyone who have been part of this exciting journey.

Ali Boulton 

The Stowe was the first of WEBA's 'New Initiatives', and there are now several more developing around this region, including the group Dan and Beth Doherty are building in Portishead, and plans for a new expression of church in South Bristol.

We hope that our churches will continue to support these pioneers by giving both to Home Mission and the WEBA New Churches Initiative.

Home Mission: We encourage all our churches to give at least 5% of general income by standing order or by cheque to WEBA Home Mission.

New Churches Initiative: We encourage all our churches to give £200 annually (or £75 for smaller churches) - cheques payable to WEBA. Individuals can also give to the New Churches Initiative - contact office@webassoc.org.uk to request a standing order form.