FORTHCOMING ATTRACTION: The next issue of the Association Newsletter will be with church secretaries shortly. These are intended to be read and to offer people in our churches stories to encourage, inform and inspire. Please make sure that the copies are distributed for maximum use. There will also be a version on the Association website www.centralba.org.uk
FINANCE: Giving to Home Mission from our Association churches to the end of March totalled £89.103 as against £89.226 for the same period in 2015. Many thanks for your continuing generosity.
FINANCE GROUP: The Association is seeking a couple of people to serve on the Finance Group. Volunteers should have appropriate experience in finance or treasurership responsibilities, accounting or company/charity experience or other related background that would strengthen the group. The group meets quarterly. For anyone interested, please contact Stephen Copson firstname.lastname@example.org or 01462 442548 in the first instance for a conversation.
BELIEF 10th ANNIVERSARY: Belief (the Christian training programme in Bedford) is excited to announce a 10th anniversary event on Saturday 10th September which will include a lecture by Rev Dr Malcolm Guite, Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge entitled “Parable and Paradox” and will be introduced by Rev Dr Ian McIntosh, Head of Formation – Church of England and founding Trustee of BELIEF. At St Andrews Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford MK40 2PF 10am – 12noon. £10 per person payable on the day (including tea/coffee and biscuits).
HM THE QUEEN’s 90th BIRTHDAY BOOK: The Servant Queen & the King She Serves: HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday Book. This short commemorative book is a clear testimony to the Queen’s faith in Jesus Christ; Her Majesty has contributed a Foreword. The intention is to show how the Queen talks naturally about her faith in Jesus Christ, and to stimulate conversations about following Jesus. It is intended to be given away at street parties, schools and events celebrating Her Majesty’s birthday, and is priced to enable churches to place bulk orders. Booklet is available from HOPE at www.hopetogether.org.uk/TheQueen
Patrick Barker has been called to be the Associate Minister at Park Road, Rushden. Chris Bell (Spurgeons Bletchley) retires in May. Stuart Earl is moving from Biggleswade to Stony Stratford Community Church.
The final 40 Days of daring greatly GATHERING event is nearly upon here – 8th May Union BC, High Wycombe with Chris Duffett.
Thanks to those who Stopsley, Luton & Mount Pleasant, Northampton who hosted the first two.
It is great to hear that a number of our smaller churches have taken up the daring greatly challenge, which is just brilliant! Val Pyper at Little Kimble did Table Talk in the local pub; Young People at Bovingdon produced a video; St James Rd Watford have an Open Church day coming up; Little Kingshill will be doing a Labyrinth .... Princes Risborough put on a children's event (when they have none), Harefield are doing the 'Fruitfulness on the Frontline' course from the LICC and seeking to practice this at work!! Blisworth are putting on a Freedom in Christ course . No doubt there are many more. Do please let Colin (email@example.com) know about any Daring Greatly initiatives you have been involved in.
SAFEGUARDING: Safeguarding training will take place at Park Street Baptist church, St Albans on Saturday morning June 25th. Contact Stephen Copson for details.
CENTRAL BAPTIST ASSOCIATION: Council meeting in Milton Keynes on April 14th
FOOTSTEPS TRAINING COURSE: Footsteps 1 and 2 meet on Saturday May 7th at Christ the King, Milton Keynes.
FOOTSTEPS PATHWAYS: “Mind the gap? Bridge the Gap” Saturday May 7th, with member of BMS Mission Centre in Birmingham at Church of Christ the King, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes, MK7 6HG. How can the experiences of overseas mission help Christians in the UK to recognise and make connections with all sorts of cultures? For more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
BAPTIST ASSEMBLY at Oxford, Saturday May 14th. See www.baptist.org.uk for details.
CENTRAL BAPTIST ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY DAY: Saturday June 25th at Whaddon Way Church, Bletchley with Rupert Lazar, President of the Baptist Union. BAPTIST ASSEMBLY at Oxford, Saturday May 14th. See www.baptist.org.uk for details.
Our second Smaller Churches Day will be held on Saturday September 17th at the Abbey Centre Northampton very near J15A of the M1. Please see http://centralba.org.uk/small-churches-network/ for more details & to download booking form.
MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE: Information has recently been circulated about the Ministers’ conference at High Leigh in Hertfordshire from igh Leigh October 10th to 12th 2016. If you have not received information, and think you should, please contact Geoff Colmer.
CBA GRANT APPLICATIONS: The next deadline for Central Baptist Association grant applications is May 20th. Application forms available from the Treasurer, Karen Hopkins.
FOOTSTEPS: The brochure for the 2016/17 programme is now available. See the Association website for details www.centralba.org.uk.
HOLY LAND TOUR 2017: Rev David Ronco (Hertford) is planning another of his popular introductory trips to the Holy Land next year. The nine day tour from May 10th - 18th is ideal for first time visitors. Whilst exploring key Biblical sites in Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem it does not try to cram in as much as some tours do. As well as walking where Jesus walked, the trip also provides unique opportunities to meet local Christians and understand how the Lord is working today through his church in Israel/Palestine. For more information, contact David on 01992 420742 email@example.com. or visit www.baptisttwinningisrael.org.uk
PASTORS’ STUDY TOUR TO ISRAEL 21st – 28th September 2016. Rev Stuart Davison, Team Leader of South Eastern Baptist Association, is leading another small group tour for pastors and church leaders. In addition to visiting key Biblical sites in Nazareth, Galilee, and Jerusalem this trip will include meeting with Arab Pastors and visiting Baptist churches. This is a unique opportunity to understand more about the complex situation in Israel/Palestine and see how the Lord is working there today through his church. To make it more available, Baptist Twinning in Israel has tried to keep the cost (£945) much cheaper than general Holy Land tours. Places are limited to 12. If you are interested in joining other leaders for this special trip, contact Stuart as soon as possible - studavison@btinternet .com
THEOLOGY & MISSION: Urban Life in partnership with Bristol Baptist College is pleased to introduce the following modules for those wishing to study the theology and practices of mission in relation to urban and marginalised contexts:
- Theology & Mission in Contemporary Urban Contexts
- Practical Theology & Ethnography
- Theological Perspectives on Place & Power
- Christian Responses to Marginalisation, Social Exclusion & Deep-Rooted Deprivation
MISSION & MONEY: BAPTIST INSURANCE offers grants to support evangelistic projects. See http://www.baptist-insurance.co.uk/about-baptist-insurance/grants/apply/index.aspx
REPAIR GRANTS: The National Churches Trust supports and promotes church buildings of historic, architectural and community value through fundraising, advice and grant-giving. We are the independent, UK-wide charity supporting over 42,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses of all Christian denominations. We believe that places of worship are an integral part of our nation’s architectural heritage and play a vital part in building and sustaining local communities. www.nationalchurchestrust.org
We currently have three grants programmes supporting urgent structural repairs and the introduction of facilities in Christian places of worship. These are:
Our Repair Grants programme - grants of £10,000 to £40,000 towards the cost of urgent and essential structural repair projects, i.e. essential works to the fabric of the building. Projects must have an estimated cost of at least £100,000 (incl. VAT and fees) to qualify. A limited number of £40,000 ‘Cornerstone’ grants are available.
Our Community Grants programme - grants of £10,000 to £25,000 towards the cost of capital works such as additions and extensions and the introduction of facilities, such as toilets and catering facilities. Projects must have an estimated cost of at least £25,000 (incl. VAT and fees) to qualify. This year we are able to offer an additional £2,000 to churches interested in setting up a social action project in partnership with the Cinnamon Network.
Our Partnership Grants programme - grants of up to £10,000 to projects costing under £100,000 (incl. VAT and fees) in partnership with 26 local churches trusts that make recommendations to us. Awards are made quarterly.
The programmes are open to listed and unlisted churches, chapels and meeting houses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which are open for worship and which are part of a denomination belonging to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Applicants need to show that 50% of the project cost has already been raised and the project needs to be taking place within the building or as an extension to it, but not a separate building. It also needs to have been built as a place of worship. Applications must be made before works start. Full guidance notes can be found on the grants pages at www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants