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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Nigel takes on big challenge of tiny church

Nigel Price is a member at Cirencester Baptist Church. He's a writer, consultant, science fiction critic, rugby supporter and amateur musician. Now he has taken on the challenge of leading Gloucestershire's oldest Baptist church. Today the WEBA office received this press release which we thought we'd share with you:

King's Stanley Baptist Church was founded in 1640 and flourished for over 350 years. But in recent times, the congregation became smaller and smaller until, last year, the remaining members were planning to close down the church. But the West of England Baptist Association, acting on behalf of the trustees, weren't ready to throw in the towel just yet. Having agreed a five-year stay of closure, they put together a steering group to investigate ways of reviving the church as a place of worship and a centre of service to its community.

As part of the steering group, Nigel Price, a long-standing member of Cirencester Baptist Church, volunteered to act as interim leader for the struggling church, taking weekly services and helping to organise activities once more.

“Once I started working here, I fell in love with the people, the place and the potential of this lovely church,” says Nigel, 54. “I became convinced that God was calling me to serve here and to see what we could do to build up this fellowship once more.”

With the agreement of the steering committee and the full support of his home church in Cirencester, Nigel has now taken on the formal post of pastor at King’s Stanley Baptist Church. He was commissioned in his new role last Sunday, 5 June, in a service led by the Revd Gordon Hindmarch, regional minister for the West of England Baptist Association. The normally small congregation was swelled to nearly 100 for the occasion by family, friends and well-wishers from Cirencester, Chalford, Stonehouse and Stroud Baptist Churches and from Malmesbury Abbey.

The guest preacher was Matt Frost, senior pastor at Cirencester Baptist Church. Using the story of the Bible’s King David and referring to Sir Winston Churchill’s wartime premiership, he spoke about the responsibility of a leader to bring inspiration and vision to those being led.

Nigel, who continues to support himself financially through his work as a writer and consultant, is under no illusions about the size of the task he has taken on.

“It’s a big challenge, but I remain optimistic and excited about what God is going to do at King’s Stanley Baptist Church.”

King’s Stanley Baptist Church is in the village of Middleyard, between Stroud and Stonehouse. Weekly Sunday services are at 10.30 am.

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