Group Reports: Build Social Group

Build runs twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Fridays from 2-4pm. Build Club is run for Adults with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. The Clients run from 26–72 years of age but they mix so well that no-one would tell that we have such a wide range of ages.

We have an activities rota which develops recognition skills. Some have already said things like ” we are cooking next OJ” which is not only encouraging but also shows how they have settled in and now own the place!!

Our Activities include:- Bowling, Cooking, Craft, Board games, Colouring, Skittles and of course, Tea and Coffee!!.

We currently have an average of 16 Clients who come regularly. Because of that the Key- Workers, Staff and Clients have a wonderful relationship and have become important to each other.

Build is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the Community. If you know of anyone who would benefit from a group like this then please talk to anyone from the team. If you would like to have fun and also do some very rewarding work please contact me.

To wrap up this report, Mrs Ann Palmer has been the Treasurer for the Build Club for many years. She has decided to step down so that she can concentrate on the other pies she has her fingers in!!. We as a group and as part of Clarence Park Baptist Church would like to thank her for all her work, support, advice and love that she has given to the Baptist union for Individuals with Learning Difficulties.

We would also like to thank Alan and Bernice Loveridge for taking up the Mantle!!
Orinthia Heritage – On behalf of the build team. Mary and David Edwards, Bernice Loveridge, Millie Withers, Emma Hawkins, & Barbara Rodgers

Group Reports: Messy Church

We first began Messy church in December 2009, and have met on the fourth Sunday of the money since then (with the exception of the school Summer holidays). During that time we have adjusted our pattern of working with what has developed into a

small but committed team. Our numbers recently have varied greatly and have been affected by St. Paul’s church who now hold a weekly Messy church at 3pm every Sunday.Last year we took the theme of journeys in the bible and this year we are working through the life of David.
We would value your prayers, and our invitation is there for anyone of any age to come and join us for a Messy church session and see what we do.

Please also pray for the team. without whom none of this could happen, and so our thanks go to…. Su Weeks, Maxine Christian, Paul Fuller, Ruth Fuller, Emma Hawkins, Mandi Hawkins, Katie Christian, Ollie Fuller, Lynn York, and to Kevin Speakman and Hugh Weeks for moving chairs and tables when we are setting up each month.

Steve Christian

Group Reports: Midweek Communion

Every Wednesday at 10am a service of communion is held at CPBC. This is a very simple liturgical service during which we worship together, read and reflect on God’s word, break bread together and then have an opportunity for open prayer.

Our numbers in attendance vary from week to week but range from 6 to 15 depending on the weather and other activities that are taking place.

This year we have begun to encourage members who attend to lead the reflection and this has been well received, so may I pass on a huge thanks to all who have got involved.

May I also take the opportunity to remind everyone that in the foyer of the church is prayer board. If you have prayer requests or needs that you would like the church to bring before God then please write these on the slips of paper by the board and place them on the board using the elastics. These will then be collected and used as a part of our intercessions on a Wednesday morning.

Finally – our appreciation needs to be expressed to those who when I am away lead the Wednesday service and bringing to the group a reflection on God’s word.

if you have not yet had the chance to come on A Wednesday to join us, then please do you are welcome anytime… and of course are welcome to stay with us for a cup of tea or coffee after the service.

Steve Christian

Group Reports: Boys’ Brigade

What a great start to 2015. The usual programme of Anchors/Juniors Christmas Party (late) and entering the final session of our badgework for awards. A great Open Evening and Presentation of Awards followed in May showing credit to the members and their families for commitment and work through the year.

At the April Parade we saw Connor Edwards and Tim Lawrence presented with their Queens Badge – the highest award in The Brigade and a culmination of attaining the highest level in every badge, achieving the Presidents Badge and a further two years of leadership, development, visitations, observations and a residential completion course. FANTASTIC!
The end of our summer session faced us with some difficult discussions as Julie (after 25 years as a parent helper then warrant officer) decided to step back from company work – although continuing with Battalion and District involvement. Also Jonathan’s career was taking a new and uncertain direction after he had headed the company after Rosie Pike’s retirement as Captain.

In August Connor, Nathanael and Tim took the second part of their officer cadet training at BB Head Quarters, Feldon Lodge in Hemel Hempstead. It was then in our October ‘enrolment’ that we saw them being commissioned as Warrant Officers, along with all our other members, making us one of the largest companies in the Somerset Battalion.

It was then in September that Nick took the reigns as Captain again, after a break of 22 years, also continues as Battalion Vice-president but, gratefully loses the role of company treasurer to Carol Jones.

We have had a great start to the new session; during September we have seen new boys join our ranks, also staff working together with a new way of using the premises to ease congestion at the beginning of the evening giving appropriate space for the evenings various activities.

So it is with renewed vigour that a wonderful team of leaders, who give up their time each week to run the companies sections, continue to provide this valued part of CPBC outreach.

October saw our Battalion Officers and Chaplains Conference. It was great to see our own Chaplain (and minister) Steve running the conference presentation, until he dropped a bomb and ‘ducked’. A lively discussion pursued over the DNA of BB staff and now that Steve has found out his appointment as Battalion Chaplain could be for five years while Rosie is President, he could be returning next year to try and re-make some friendships. Seriously, many thanks to Steve for not only guiding and enabling our Christian direction on Wednesdays, but also for being really ‘hands on’ in leadership during our crisis times.

We had fantastic news that Jules Samuels, from our company section was to be confirmed at Corpus Christi. He already plays a big role in the life of the church next door (Alter Boy and more) and it was a privilege to be able to take four of our senior boys to the service which was on Wednesday 14th October.

We really appreciate all the family does for the BB, with three lads attending every week and dad (Richard) helping as a regular leader until recently.

The seniors (age 15 years and over) organised and ran a Quiz Evening to raise some funds for activities. A great evening was had by all and the GB held a cake stall to continue their fund raising for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

WOW! What an effort – over 70 shoeboxes were collected for Blythswood Care towards their Christmas Appeal. Grateful thanks to Rosie Pike for organising this again and to the friends and members of CPBC and Brigades who contributed so generously to this.

Wednesday 9 December saw the Brigades Carol evening, with ‘home made’ mince pies by our GB afterwards. The girls made a fantastic 150 pies, despite the very temperamental oven which either gently warms or incinerates!!! The ‘retiring offering’ was also in aid of CHSW.

Finally, a great end to another year in the 1st W-s-M history with a certificate congratulating us on growth of members over the last year (statistics and returns are made in October). The BB is still strong and active after 78 years of continuous work at CPBC and today we still see new lads and families coming into the building. THANK YOU all at CPBC for the continued support and encouragement.

Nick Lawrence, Captain

Group Reports: Girls’ Brigade

During the past 12 months the 1st Weston-super-Mare Girls’ Brigade Company has been involved in a number of activities and detailed below is a summary of these events.

In March 2015 we sent 3 girls to Hill House for Young Leaders Training:- Emma Hawkins (Leader Training), Rosie Weeks (Advanced), Katie Christian (Preparation). Before the girls left for Young Leaders they had to undertake a number of compulsory activities:

  • preparing a worship session
  • organise a craft activity
  • leading the games

Young Leaders’ helps girls develop skills and talents, which will be of benefit to them when helping out within the Company. Since returning Emma has continued to undertake the necessary modules in order to become an officer which include planning, faith journey, GB Knowledge etc and has also visited a GB Company in Bristol to experience how they do things in other companies. We are hoping that her registration to become a new GB leader will be through shortly.

Our Summer Programme included swimming at Hutton Moor, a visit to the beach, a people hunt and the session finished with a BBQ.

On Saturday 15th August seventeen of us had a sleepover at the Church which included a day trip to Crealy Adventure Park. We had a great day going on the roller coasters, looking at the animals and other attractions and returned to the Church for dinner which was cooked by Mandi. After dinner the girls had the opportunity (if they wanted) to perform in the Talent Show and watch a number of selected DVD’s before bed time!. The girls were very excited and it took a long time for everyone to get to sleep! After breakfast we then joined the congregation for worship. When it was time to go home the girls (and the leaders) were quite tired but everyone had a good time.

In September our new session started off with a Progressive Supper but this year because of transport we stayed at the Church and moved from room to room for the various courses.
There was a good attendance at the enrolment service held in October. This is a very important service of Dedication and Enrolment of New Members for our GB/BB Companies and the Church. This is a time at which the Company and Church unite in reminding each other of their objectives and of their obligations to one another.

On Saturday November 7th our n:counta and n:spire sections (Seniors and Brigaders) held a Coffee Morning and Cake Sale to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West which provides hospice care for life-limited children and their families from across the South West of England. To date the girls have managed to raise £400.56 and on behalf of the Company I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came along to support the girls at the Coffee Morning and Cake Sale. Your contribution means a lot to the girls and the money helps out a great charity.
We have since had a visit from Kylie Gallagher a representative from Little Bridge House who talked to the Company about where they are, what the Charity does etc but Sarah, Hayley, Katie. Phoebe and Jessica got the chance to visit Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm in North Somerset where they handed over the cheque. They were able to look around the house which had plenty of facilities including a main living area that forms the heart and soul of the house, cosy lounges, a messy play room for carefree creativity, a multi sensory room with lights, sounds and textures to soothe and calm, a soft play area for safe, trouble-free fun and a Jacuzzi!. The hospice provides a home from home for everyone who stays with them, and that includes parents, and brothers and sisters too. They have eight child-friendly bedrooms which are decorated with favourite books, toys and DVDs for each child who stays with them and there is accommodation for the rest of the family too! This year the charity is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and the girls came back with 25 teddies and have been set the task of coming up with ideas to find the perfect fundraising event to raise yet more well needed money so watch this space.

In December we once again held our joint Carol Evening with the BB and it was lovely to see parents, friends and Church members come and support the girls and boys ~ I think you will agree they all did a wonderful job!

Also in December a few of our girls joined with the rest of the Church family for fun at MESSY PARADE and enjoyed the crafts, story, prayer etc.

As Leaders and Helpers of the Company we endeavour to help the girls discover Jesus in both a fun and age appropriate way. Weekly activities are planned as to the age of the girls in each section with the evening offering devotions, badge work, games and of course drinks and biscuits!

Our numbers have remained steady and it is great to work with the girls watching them grow in confidence and faith whilst learning new skills and facing new challenges. Each Section has been involved in a number of activities throughout the year and this would not be possible without the fantastic team I have behind me Mandi, Sarah, Hayley, Sophie and OJ ~ THANK YOU!!.

Jane King, Captain

Group Reports: Tots and Toddlers

Numbers have remained steady week to week, averaging 20+ children aged 0-4,with a mixture of childminders, Mums, Dads and Nans.

The format of the morning remains the same – the first part of the morning with a variety of small toys, dolls and prams, and riding cars or bikes, table top activities which we vary each week – jigsaws, threading, or building games. As there are not so many of us regularly helping we have not varied the ‘craft’ table each week but just once a month. Toast, drinks and biscuits are always served mid-morning. We end with song and action time in which we include some Bible based choruses and notices including an invitation to Messy Church each month. A small gift and card is given to each child when it is their birthday in the coming week and we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ before our closing song.

Our summer session ended with all the children having gifts to take home and those leaving us to go to pre-school writing books and pencils.

We had our usual Christmas party morning with craft and games, then Steve leading us into the church for a short service time, each child had a gift from ‘Santa’s sack’ to take home and we finished back in the hall with party food.

It was great to be able to announce that the back area has been resurfaced, we have shown several mums/carers and discussed plans for the area once the weather improves – ideas include planters on the wall (helping to cover the ‘jagged’ stones), a mural, sand and water tables,. We have already purchased some interlocking rubber matting and are in the process of ordering more small chairs.

After the demise of our cooker, Emma found a 2nd hand one advertised on facebook which we purchased, scrubbed down and once again enjoy ‘cooking’! We have also recently purchased 2 balance bikes which have proved very popular with the older ones.

There is always plenty for us to do whether it be chatting to mums/carers, playing with the children, watching out for possible accidents, making drinks etc. but it is an enjoyable time and we feel worth it from the comments we receive from our attendees.

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Frances Woolard in September as she retired to Brittany, we presented her with a cheese board & knives – I hope to make use of this when visiting this summer! We have also lost Orinthia and Emma so there is a lot more for just Barbara and I to do, although the carers do all ‘muck in’ to help. I was really grateful for the offers of help in January when Barbara was away, many thanks to Hilary Brownett for coming along each week.

Please pray for this outreach that it will continue to grow and provide something needed in our community.

Mandi Hawkins

Group Reports: Sunday Club

This past year we have mainly run two groups with Maxine taking the 11+ age group through the Stepping Stones 1 course, with help from Alison & Hayley. This has been very fruitful with 2 young people looking further at their faith and baptism.

It has been great to witness the baptism and bringing into Church membership of Katie and Oliver.

Myself, Alison and Emma have led the younger children and have mostly tried to follow the same theme as Steve which helps link the worship together between adults and children – and hope this makes them feel part of the witness and work at CPBC that all have a role to play.
Our Christmas party was again shared with the Church fellowship and about 90 children and adults of all ages had an afternoon of fun, games, bring and share tea, laughter and of course a visit from Father Christmas with gifts for all the children. It was great to see so most groups within the church represented from aged 1 month to 93!

The Christmas Service was again a great morning with all taking part – put together using various ideas from the young people and online sources.

This year we have begun to change the format, Maxine and myself sharing the leading with the younger children and Alison & Hayley the young people, this includes them staying in on the first Sunday of the month, making notes and then discussing their thoughts the next week.
Pray for our children and young people and for us as a team as we share God’s teaching.

Mandi Hawkins

Group Reports: Community Youth Choir

What a great first year the Choir have enjoyed, we have held three concerts the last one being joined with the Clangers. They have all been very well supported by the parents and families of the Choir and our own fellowship for which we are extremely blessed.

In September we faced a huge problem with Rebecca going to Uni, however our prayers were answered when Sophie agreed to join us as our youth leader and she has proved to be a super member of our team.

A similar situation occurred recently when David left the Church and yet again our prayers were answered with Fiona recently joining our leaders team and settling in very well indeed.
We are having a cream tea and concert on 9th July so please keep that date free to join us in a great afternoon.

In addition Sophie is working very hard preparing for a big production of Robin Hood to be performed in Jan, 20017. We will be looking for lots of help with this and we especially want to get young lads on board.

I cannot close this report without thanking our super team of Maureen, Jayne, Tori and Noah, Val, Fiona Sophie and our wonderful group of girls and their lovely parents who bring them on a Tuesday evening no matter how bad the weather may be we cannot thank them enough. In conclusion we would welcome new members aged 8 to 18 to join our special group of young people.

Gordon Cloud

Group Reports: Men’s Fellowship Group

Another year of various events was had, and enjoyed by all, from bowls, skittles, mystery walks and meals.
A huge thanks to Alan Loveridge for chairing us through our early years.
Any new members interested please contact Hugh Weeks or Doug Grier via the Church contact form here.

Doug Grier

Group Reports: The Clangers

Another year over and The Clangers (CPBC Hand Chimes Group) have been continuing to learn and practice new and old songs/tunes as well as continuing to try and improve their ‘clanging’ techniques. 2015’s Clangers have consistently had 8 members: Dave Chinn; Dottie & Nathaniel Griffiths, Nicola Hocking, Ros Newman, Miranda Pincotte, Maureen Price and myself at practice nights on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7.30pm.

We visited all 3 homes at the beginning of the year and in December Miranda asked us to play at Worlebury School Christmas fayre. We were in the main hall where folk were taking a break with tea / coffee and we played several Christmas carols. This generated some interest in the chimes, the way they sounded and also somebody asked if we could play at their school?!
The concert on the 19th December with CPBC’s very own Youth Choir went very well and was very enjoyable. It was a challenge for both groups as neither had played together before and we were honoured to be asked to be a part of the afternoon. Then on Sunday 20th December again we took part in the Candlelight Service which is always a privilege.

This year has also seen the group obtain their very own ‘Clanger T-shirts’ which has really brought us together as a group and given us a sense of identity.

We will be visiting Gough House, The Links and Abbeygate in 2016 to continue our connection with them. We all appreciate the fellowship, especially with our number one fan Margaret Chant who continues to be supportive and very encouraging. We also are delighted when asked to return.

I don’t know if it’s only me, but are the year’s going quickly? We only have a maximum of 22 practices a year and some of those are playing at the homes, so it has been lovely to hear many folk congratulating us and telling us how much we have improved; this is a result of lots of practice and dedication. Well done and thank you Clangers! We did not achieve everything we said last year and it would still be good to meet with the Sunday Club and maybe get a band of young people playing chimes too. We also continue to try and get out into the community either on the seafront or down to Whitecross Road.

If you would like to ‘have a go’ we meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 7.30pm or if you would like to know more please feel free to speak to me or any one of the group.

Jane Ridge

Group Reports: Ladies Friendship Group

Again I must say how much we appreciate the help we receive from Church Members, Steve, as well as our own members who give up their time to prepare a message for us on a Monday evening. We are looking forward in February to a visit from the Senior Members of the Girls` Brigade who are coming to meet and ask questions of the more senior members of our fellowship. We hope it will be a time of bonding and a `getting to know` each other. It will be interesting too to hear how the childhoods of the early 1900`s compares with those of present day young people.

Once again we have had the pleasure of welcoming new members and it has been good on some evenings to have to fetch in extra chairs to accommodate everyone.

Ann Palmer is now our Treasurer following Barbara Rodgers` retirement from the post and we are grateful to them both for their work in this respect. Zillah continues as our Secretary, but we appreciated Alex McIntosh`s offer to take the minutes for us at our AGM in Zillah`s absence with illness. Once again Olive Loveridge has continued her letter writing and `keeping in touch` ministry and Enid, Mary and Pat continue to use their musical talents. We are grateful to those who serve the tea and coffee and wash up afterwards – what would we do without them. A number of our members would not be able to attend our meeting without a lift, and we continue to be very appreciative of those who use their cars for this purpose. So I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who in some way or another contributes to make our Monday evening so enjoyable.

I am expecting this to be my last Annual Report to the Church as I feel it is time for someone else to take the reins, and I am delighted that Hilary Brownett has agreed to step into my shoes. I am sure she will make an excellent Leader and will be able to bring fresh ideas along. I have not only enjoyed, but have been richly blessed as Leader of the Ladies Friendship Group and I trust the Lord will richly bless Hilary as she takes over this responsibility in June 2016.

We can always find room for new members, so any lady free on a Monday evening would be most welcome, we would love to see you.

Maureen Tubb, Leader

Group Reports: Baptist Women’s Fellowship

This year saw the closure of the Baptist Women’s Fellowship which has been running in Clarence Park Baptist Church since 1918. We had been losing members through death and infirmity for some time and although we were delighted to have some new members we felt that it was not possible to invite outside speakers for such a small group. We continued to meet until June 2015 but then we felt the time had come to close.

After discussion among the members the decision was made that we would meet once a month more informally in different people’s homes. This we have been doing. During September and October we collected a large amount of goods for the Shoe Box Appeal by WEBA to go to Albania. There was so much collected that we were able to fill 10 boxes and also send a large bag of things which were left over. This we felt was a good contribution and we have been encouraged by the number of our group who still wanted to meet together.

We were all very sad about the death of Dreena Wood who had been joint leader with me. We miss her very much – in her quiet way she made such a difference to BWF as she was so concerned about people and would chat to all who came. Her Christian example was an inspiration to us all and there is a gap in our group which is very noticeable. We just thank God for Dreena and all she did.

We will continue to meet during 2016 and trust that the Lord will lead us into new ways for Him.

Maureen Price

Group Reports: Community Coffee Morning

The Thursday community coffee morning surprises us weekly. We now usually have around 35 people and rising which includes many regulars. We are often given gifts of biscuits which are gratefully received.

We are seeing God working in this project in the conversations held. Often we are asked questions about the bible and if we don’t have answers consult our mentor Ray Green. We have also given out 3 Gideon New Testaments. A couple of people are coming to church and several to Ladies Friendship Group as a result.
We can always use extra help, our policy is a weekly rota for lead helpers and we trust God to provide other members of the team to turn up. We value Steve’s input when he is able to pop in.

At the end of 2015 the core group gathered for a meal at a restaurant when folk brought their spouses and we were able to share fellowship getting to know one another better.
Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue especially that the coffee station will be built as soon as possible as it will make our job so much easier.

Zillah & Gordon

Women’s World Day of Prayer at Clarence Park Baptist Church

Women's world day of prayer logoAt the 2012 international meeting of the WWDP the Christian women of Cuba were given the theme ‘Receive children. Receive me’ to write a service on for 2016. Members of the Cuban national committee, together with more than 20 other WDP women came together to develop the service we celebrated on the 4th March. It was circulated and translated into more than 60 languages and 1,000 dialects. In the British Isles alone some 6,000 services will have been held.

Ladies from Corpus Christi, Bristol Road Baptist Church, Uphill Methodist Church, St Nicholas Church, Emmanuel Church, Boulevard URC, St Pauls Church, Salvation Army and Victoria Methodist Church all took part with me from CPBC leading the service. Approximately 70-80 people from all the above local Churches attended for this years’ service.

As people arrived they were asked to put their names on a card which had on the front the Cuban national flower (Butterfly jasmine flower). Later in the service these cards were handed around for people to take away and pray for the person whose name was on it. This in a way extending the WWDP for a few more days/weeks.

The ladies from the above churches participated as Cuban women/girls who carried symbols (a Bible, bowl of provisions, diary, candle, maracas and sugar) to a table. They then read throughout the service.

Children, young people and families were at the heart of this years’ service and the theme
‘Receive children. Receive me.’ was based on the readings from Mark 10:13-16 and Isaiah 11:1-10. Jesus called the children to him “Let the little children come to me..for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs”. In the service we were challenged to see children through Jesus’ eyes – and not only children but all God’s people.

As leader I conducted the ‘Meditation’ which was a number of slides portraying children / adults in different settings and asking questions to the congregation about what they thought they were looking at. Also to view the ‘Meditation picture’ and ask how this spoke to them. The artist of this picture (Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro) used symbolism and poetry to convey how we may ‘receive children’ and how ‘the child within us’ may receive Jesus. She also wanted to represent the diversity of the Cuban people.

We sang ‘Come on and celebrate’, ‘All over the world the Spirit is moving’, ‘Sent by the Lord am I’ and ‘The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended’; with a singing prayer of praise ‘O sing to the Lord’ and lastly ‘For everyone born, a place at the table’ sang beautifully by our soloist Kaye Cooke. We prayed for the people and leaders of Cuba and also for our own town, churches, church families and children of Weston-super-Mare. Our offering amounted to a wonderful £240 which will go towards many national and international projects.

All responding with: We are your children, part of your beloved creation and have a place in your heart. Help us: to speak kindly and to be a forgiving community, to accept every human being as unique and worthy to God, to keep the hope in a future of justice and peace, to receive children in
order that they are able to dream, laugh, dance and love without discrimination.

Thank you to everyone who attended CPBC and to those who took part in the service. Thank you to all the people to helped with welcoming, audio/visual, sound, music, singing, refreshments and making of cakes / home-made lemonade.

Remember : Receive children. Receive me.

Jane Ridge

Battalion Activity Day

The Boys’ Brigade Battalion is organising an Activity Day at Kilve Court. Transport will be provided and the cost is also heavily subsidised by the battalion. Please ensure you return the expression of interest slip or text Nick by Friday 12/02 so a place can be booked.

The Dedication of Noah and Baptism of Tori

ToriSimonNoah

The church is packed, the baptistery filled the banner says “Here is water, why shouldn’t I be baptised”. After what seems like a short few months we’re back again for Tori’s baptism but what makes this extra special is it is also the dedication of her son Noah born not long before Christmas.

Give thanks to the LORD! Praise His name! Tell the whole world what He has done—His mighty acts on our behalf. Sing to the LORD, for He has done wonderful things for us! Raise your hearts and voices! Shout and sing your praise! For great is the Holy One who lives among us!
Based on Isaiah 12: 3-6

The service opens with that grand old Hymn “Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder…” played by Mary on the Organ and sung enthusiastically by the congregation.

Dedication of Noah

Tori, Simon and of course Noah were invited up to the front and introduced to the congregation. Noah is happy and Steve introduces the dedication by explaining that in the Baptist tradition we don’t baptise babies but instead ask the people who care for them their parents, friends and the church to commit to caring for Noah and to lead him in his Christian journey to his own acceptance of Christ. First the parents, then people of special interest and then the whole congregation were asked to respond to prayers of thanksgiving and commitment. Finally Steve held Noah for the final prayer. Now I must admit that Steve usually has the knack with babies and they stay happy and quiet, but not Noah, he decided to cry into Steve’s radio mic halfway through the prayer. Maybe he didn’t want to be left out and made sure his voice is there for all to hear on the video and audio recordings. With peace restored in the arms of his dad Simon Steve brought the dedication to a close by introducing Matt Redman’s song “Bless the Lord O my Soul”. Followed by the 4/4 time (drum) version of “Be Thou My Vision”. Last time I describe this song as awesome and it’s still true this time with the song rising to a final heart thumping conclusion beautifully linking the dedication of Noah to the other highlight of the day the Baptism of Tori.

The baptism of Tori

Unusually the baptism began with a bible reading and Steve’s message.

Reading from John 3:1-17. The story of Nicodemus the Pharisee who came to Jesus with questions about reaching the kingdom of God and was told that he would have to be re-born.

Now for those who hadn’t so far picked it up from the various clues in preceding slides on the screen Steve then introduced the unlikely preaching theme, the children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.

If you haven’t read the book then here is Eric Carle himself reading it on YouTube

Steve’s Message

“Do you have a favourite book you used to read as a child?” he asked and then went on to explain that Noah’s favourite story (well possibly Simon’s favourite really) is the story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”; so much so that he has Hungry Caterpillar pictures painted on his bedroom walls and was even dressed up as The Hungry Caterpillar for some photographs.

NoahNurseryMurals NoahAsHungryCaterpiller

It is fair to say this is a simple story that sets out to help us understand a deep truth so we can unfold our wings and fly through life confident in God. So how can The Hungry Caterpillar help us to understand Nicodemus?

 

By satisfying our spiritual Hunger.

You know spiritually for many people live is just like the caterpillar’s, you keep on seeking and are hard to satisfy. But the Bible says that we have all been created to know God and there is a deep desire in everyone to be spiritually satisfied. The trouble is that like the caterpillar people try to quench their spiritual hunger in wrong ways such as , money, success, power, fame, horoscopes, mediums and mystic religions. History and life today shows us that even when people have all these things they are not satisfied. Nicodemus came to Jesus asking these same questions and was told that being the ‘religious’ man that he was is not enough that to be satisfied he must seek out Jesus. As he grows Noah will get hungry, not just physically, but spiritually so it is a delight that Tori and Simon have brought him to be dedicated and have promised to allow him to grow and learn about Jesus because it is only Jesus that can satisfy his spiritual hunger.

By being born into a new life.

In the Baptist church we don’t baptise babies we give thanks for them but we do baptise believers, those who have made their own decision to follow Jesus. Tori is here today to ask us to celebrate with her that she has come to Jesus has let Him fulfil her spiritual hunger and has made her anew by His spirit. She is a new creation, a child of God because just as the Hungry Caterpillar came out of his cocoon reborn as a butterfly she has been reborn as a disciple of Jesus.

So when we baptise Tori we will celebrate just that, that through faith she has a new life through faith in Jesus.

Those who know Tori well will know that being a follower of Jesus has transformed her but the testimony of her faith is also a message that today, no matter where your spiritual journey may take you, that faith in the gift of life and forgiveness through Jesus is the answer.

Steve then gave the cuddly caterpillar he had been using as a prop to Noah saying “I want to give you this caterpillar as a free gift to Noah and that you use this gift to remind you of what I have talked about today”. New life in Jesus is a gift that is offered and needs to be received so I ask all of you, will you today reach out and take that gift for yourselves?

Heavenly Father, we praise you that in Christ Jesus we are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. Today help each one of us to not be afraid to seek answers as we come with our questions. Help us to come in faith and give us the strength to respond to you with honesty. For Jesus we thank you that in you all hope is found, that in you is life and that with you we can live life to the full. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

Tori’s Testimony

Tori is originally from Clevedon was brought up in a Christian family and involved in the church all her young life. She was christened as a baby and decided she was a Christian at 15 and was confirmed. After this she went on the lead in her church and especially remembers an Alpha course she ran where she was inspired by the young people she met.

After joining the Police, however, she drifted away from Church and God – perhaps too much distraction, work and life and didn’t return for about 15 years.

She talked to many people over those years and found that many think that Christians look down on others which was at odds with her experience especially as she had been brought up not to Judge others.

It all changed when, through the auspices of Facebook, Dave Chinn invited her to his baptism and that brought her to Clarence Park where she stayed. At first it was strange, especially communion but in time it began to feel like home.

There have been many dark times but God has given her a chance. She never thought she would be a Mum and now little Noah is here and she loves him, her family, her friends and God more than anything and wants to say thank you to God for all that she has.

O Happy Day

Those of you who have seen Sister Act will know this song and the way it transformed a small congregation of Nuns. Well here in CPBC Tori transformed us by singing, supported by the music group and singers, her own amazing rendition.

The Baptism

Tori, Steve and Kaye went into the water where Tori was asked if she rejected the devil and put her life and trust in Jesus Christ. She was then plunged backward under the water and rose to her new life and rapturous applause. While Steve and Kaye prayed with Tori in the water the music group led the congregation in the worship song “Come on and Celebrate”.

While Steve, Tori and Kaye got dried off Mark led us in a prayer and then introduced a song that I’m pretty sure I haven’t sung since I was in school, known as the “arky arky” song. Which was, as Mark said, a lot of fun.

All that was left was for Steve to present Tori with her baptism verse and lead us all in prayer.

We closed with the song “Water You Changed Into Wine”.

 

Beersheba, the conference and yet more monkeys!

The children return on Tuesday ready to start lessons again on Wednesday. In the following week, Y11 and some of Y10 will be starting their mock exams.
WecDrySeason
It’s been an interesting Christmas break. Some of us went to visit Beersheba last Monday, which is a ministry that works to equip the existing Senegalese churches. The pastors send interns to the project so that they can learn farming techniques and be discipled by the staff. Beersheba also sells its produce and acts as a witness to the surrounding villages. It’s easy to see where the boundary of Beersheba is in dry season (above).
WecDonkey
WecPig
WecJerseyBull
They have a variety of livestock, including a Jersey bull!
WecGarden
There are some interesting plants too. The interns have their own areas of land to work with.
WecMonkeys
The WEC conference has just come to an end. It was great to hear about all the other work that’s going on in and around Senegal, meet other missionaries and join together for prayer and worship. Several people are leaving this year, so a new leadership team have been appointed (they will take over in a few months).
Some of us went to Bandia yesterday, where we met a lot of playful and quite hungry monkeys!

PRAYER POINTS
Give thanks for the conference, the different ministries and all the work they are doing. Please pray for them as they go back to their teams to work with different communities and people groups, translate the Bible into local languages, plant churches, help vulnerable children and support the Senegalese church. Pray especially for the new leadership team.
Please pray for the staff here at BCS as we make final preparations for the new term, and for the children and their families as they travel. Pray especially for Y10/11 as they prepare for their exams and for Joshua, who will be joining Y7 this term.
Please also pray for our internet connection, which has been very temperamental lately!

Girls’ Brigade Supporting Children’s Hospice South West

Girls’ Brigade raise £400 for Children’s Hospice South West

1st Weston GB at Charlton Farm, CHSW

1st Weston GB at Charlton Farm, CHSW

Senior Girls’ raise £400 for Children’s Hospice South West!  Jessica, Katie, and  Phoebe, travelled to Charlton Farm with leaders Hayley and Sarah to present a cheque for money raised through cake sales, coffee morning and Christmas evening .  Everyone had a fantastic day of hearing more about CHSW and a tour of Charlton Farm also devouring homemade cake.  WELL DONE GIRLS’!  Also thanks to parents, family and friends, also CPBC fellowship for supporting us in this great cause.  Please look out for our next fund raising event.

Fellowship Christmas Party

Party lettering with words A Party for Jesus
Our Christmas party is one of those “looked forward to events” in our church calendar and this one was no exception.

With a couple of hundred people (half of them children) thronging the church the atmosphere was fabulous. The chairs were pushed to the sides allowing a large space for traditional games such as Chinese laundry, musical statues, musical chairs, pass the balloon and more. What is impressive is how many adults get involved in what are really children’s games; we even had Richard running round playing musical chairs. After a massive game of pass the parcel, featuring four parcels and everyone in the church grace was said and we all trooped through to the hall for tea.

HappyChristmas_ChildrenWithCakeWhat always amazes me about bring and share meals is how it always seems to work out. Other than Brigade B&S meals where the food is predominantly cake the balance of savoury to sweet healthy to distinctly unhealthy (if you’ve ever tried David’s banofee pie, sadly missing this time) is pretty good and everyone always has plenty.

Once the food was gone and everyone replete we all returned to the church where the atmosphere had changed. The lights were down except for the spot lit platform at the front in preparation for a very important visitor. Steve, our minister, gave a short talk about the real meaning of Christmas and led us in some carols. Then, just when the children were beginning to wonder there was a knock on the main church door. In came Father Christmas all decked out in red with a big sack on his shoulder. All the children were given a present from the youngest at just a few weeks to the oldest, well you wouldn’t know they were still eligible to look at some of them.

The afternoon ended there with a lot of happy children, parents, grandparents, BUILD members and others.
Here’s looking forward to next year!
Merry Christmas

Steve’s Christmas Message

Photograph of Steve ChristianWhen I do my Christmas shopping every present is carefully chosen. There has to be planning in buying the presents so that they are wanted and each person gets the right gift. After all no one wants to buy something that will sit in a cupboard for 12 months or more waiting to be brought out, wrapped and given to someone else so that they too can just put it in a cupboard!

This Christmas our Advent series SENT is a reminder to us that the bigger picture of the Christmas story is that Jesus is God’s perfect gift to us, sent to save us and restore us to Himself.

It is my hope that through this Advent season we will explore deeper together why God sent Jesus and also through discussion ground deeper into our own lives and experience just what God has done for us. So during some of our Advent mornings, please be prepared, as I speak, to stop and to talk together, to share together, to listen and to learn from one another so that Christ may not just be put into the box of Sunday morning and God’s gift to us is not just wrapped up for Christmas, but instead enjoyed, appreciated and lived out in our lives all year round.

We wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

With love in Christ,

Steve, Maxine, Katie and Daniel

Boys Brigade shoe boxes

shoebox-appealWOW! What an effort – over 70 shoeboxes were collected by Blythswood Care for the Christmas Appeal. Grateful thanks to Rosie Pike for organising this again and to the friends and members of CPBC and Brigades who contributed so generously to this. No doubt mention is made elsewhere but I can only thank Rosie for the encouragement and organisation of this great cause which she gave the BB lads.

Make a date in your diary for next week, Wednesday 9 December for the Brigades Carol evening, with CHURCH MADE MINCE PIES by our GB afterwards. The girls have made a fantastic 150 pies despite the very temperamental oven which either gently warms or incinerates!!! (Well, they’re down to 148 after quality testing on a regular basis… just to ensure optimum storage etc.). Wasn’t it great to see lads from 2nd Weston (Milton Baptist Church) and four of our own officers in uniform to show support for Oliver on his Baptism. A wonderful witness – thank you Oliver and we send our brotherhood love to a fellow BB member.

Finally, a great end to another year in the 1st W-s-M history with a certificate congratulating us on growth of members over the last year (statistics and returns are made in October). The BB is still strong and active after 78 years of continuous work at CPBC and today we still see new lads and families coming into the building.

Thank you all at CPBC for the continued support and encouragement.

The Coming King

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9: 6-7

the-nativity
Long, long ago prophets spoke of the coming of a Saviour who would be born a king in the line of David. The prophet Isaiah called him the “Prince of Peace”. The prophets told us how he would rule the world wisely and bless all nations. So all through the Old Testament the people of God looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. It was their HOPE.
As we come into the period of Advent and draw near to Christmas I would suggest three things that can give us all HOPE:

Christ Came

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”

The baby born in a stable and placed in a manger is the promised Messiah. The only Son of God who had been promised all through the prophesies of the Old Testament. Not born in a palace as some would have expected but born to a young girl who was only betrothed.

Christ Comes

“I am with you always, even to the end if the age”

As year succeeds to year Christ continues to come to us through the power of His Spirit. When Jesus returned to his Father after the resurrection, he sent his spirit to be with us. We can know that presence as we believe and trust in Jesus and seek Him through prayer.

Christ Will Come Again

“This same Jesus will come in the same manner as you have seen Him go”

Jesus is coming again to reign in glory. Not as a baby in a manger but as a King. When Jesus comes again every eye will see Him. We do not know the time but we are to be alert, ready and waiting for His coming.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing”

Thessalonians 5:11

Prayer

Advent God we worship you, the God who comes.
You are not remote from the world you have made,
But each day you come to us
Blessing us with your presence.
You came in creation itself,
As your spirit moved over the waters of chaos
You came in Jesus Christ,
Made flesh in our world of weakness and need.
You came in power to raise Jesus from death,
A mighty promise for all creation.
Each day you come, by your spirit,
Gently and powerfully working in the lives of men and women.
At the end of time you will come,
In power and righteousness, in mercy and redeeming love.
Grant us the grace to welcome your corning,
Inflame our love to yearn for your presence.
Enlarge our vision to recognise your coming day by day.
We greet you, Advent God.
Amen

By Ann Palmer

Agroforestry in the Amazon

Agroforestry plantation cropsBMS World Mission workers are embarking on a new agroforestry project to encourage people to care about the environment and to combat food insecurity in Peru.
Thanks to the service of BMS workers in the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre (NIMTC) in Peru’s Amazon rainforest, pastors are discovering another way to use their land.
By selectively cutting down trees, and planting a wide variety of crops and plants, a huge selection of fruit and veg can be grown. Seeing just how much food is produced will help the pastors visiting the centre for theological training understand the importance of sustainable food production.
Cashew budding agroforestryWith 30 per cent of Peru’s population living below the national poverty line, sustainable food production is much needed. Agroforestry combats poverty by increasing food security – in other words, it increases the amount and variety of food that can be produced each year. This means that instead of an entire community being dependent on one crop that could fail, communities will always reap a good harvest because of the variety grown. “It’s not about bringing in money, it’s about helping people understand how they can make the most of what’s already around,” says Mark Greenwood, BMS Regional Team Leader for South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This year, BMS environmentalist Laura-Lee Lovering and BMS plant propagator help create a model agroforestry area at NIMTC. Pastors from remote areas of Peru come to the centre to learn about leadership and community development. They will use the model area to also learn agroforestry skills that they can take back to their communities.
agroforestry thumbnailTraditionally in South America, caring for the environment has not automatically been seen as a part of a relationship with God, but through agroforestry BMS mission workers are able to show that creation care is very much an important part of the kingdom of God.
Please pray that sustainable food production in Peru is achieved through the agroforestry project.

BMS: Agroforestry in the Amazon

Oliver’s Baptism

BaptismalBannerOnce again the church was packed out, this time for Oliver’s baptism. The baptistery was prepared with the baptism banner arrayed above.

“Here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptised?”

Steve Christian our minister opened the service with a welcome to Ollie or is it Oliver? Depends which side of the church you’re sitting it seems.

Following the notices Ruth (Ollie’s mum) led us in an opening prayer.

“Today we gather to celebrate faith through believer’s baptism. When Jesus was baptised God said. “Look! See my chosen servant, the one in whom I utterly delight””.

“Most wonderful God, foolish and flawed though we are. we too delight in your beloved Son. As we gather in his name to praise you, may the heavens also be opened for us, that we may catch a glimpse of that Light and Love that transforms our common days with a beauty not of our making. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”

Then we heard the deep drone of Mark’s keyboard and the thump of the drum as the worship began to the awesome 4:4 time version of “Be thou my vision”. What a beautifully immersive way to open the service.

Steve then prayed a prayer of thanks to God and an invitation for the holy spirit to open our hearts to his truth.

Oliver opened his witness with a tribute to his sister Naomi who was born with a life limiting illness. He said that in many ways her illness defined his life but he would not have had it any other way. When he was young he started going to 2nd Weston Boy’s brigade at Milton Baptist Church and that, together with the strength of his family’s faith, kept him in touch with God. It wasn’t until he was older that he started thinking about what it really meant to be a Christian and this went on until one morning when he was 12 he sat up in bed and decided in that moment that he would follow Jesus, that he would be a Christian.

September 10th 2014 Naomi died and his life changed. He began attending St Paul’s church but started to feel isolated. Two things helped him through theses difficult times. Doing stepping stones with Steve Christian and going out with Katie.

Oliver and his uncle Mark then sang “You Raise Me up” a moving song made famous by Westlife among others. They finished to a fantastic round of applause.

After thanking Ollie for his witness Steve introduced two worship songs. “Strength will rise” by Chris Tomlin and “Bless the Lord O my Soul” from Matt Redmond’s 10,000 reasons.

And again Steve led us in prayer: “These words are true… open our hearts Lord to the meaning of your word… in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Steve continued “Oliver is already on a journey of faith. By being baptised here he is saying he has a new life in God and wants to show that to you. He isn’t going to become a Christian in the next few minutes but what he will do is declare that faith to you.”

We sing “Let my heart be changed renewed” and Oliver, Paul (his Dad) and Steve go into the baptistery to the words “As I wait I’ll rise up like the eagle”.

Oliver expresses his vows and then Steve declares “Having repented of your sins and declared your faith we baptise you in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Oliver is plunged backwards into the pool and rises to a round of applause and a reprise of “Let my heart be changed renewed” while Steve and Paul pray with Oliver.

Mark opens our prayers of intercession with an invitation for the whole church to declare “Alleluia” for such a witness. He offers prayers for the world, Paris, Mali and events we don’t even know about “We lay our broken world before you Lord”. We uphold refugees fighting for life and dignity. We uphold our leaders around the world struggling to find an answer to the atrocities we see every day. We uphold our country and the people who struggle even here for food and shelter. We uphold our local community “we rest the needs of our community before your throne and ask for guidance Lord…”. We uphold the sick in our fellowship asking for healing and solace. Finally we bring all these prayers to the Lord through Jesus Christ.

A reading from 2 Corinthians 4:6-5:10 brought by another of Oliver’s uncles.

Steve’s message

“If you know Ollie well you will know he plays tennis, something that he is really very good at. Good enough to win tournaments! I can only dream of being that good at tennis but wonder what it would be like to win a match?”

Steve went on to say that tennis champion Hanna Mandlikova was once asked how she felt abut winning against the great names of tennis. She said “any big win means that all the sacrifices were worth it, I feel like I own the world”. when asked how long this lasted she said “about two minutes”! The Bible warns us about the fleeting nature of fame and fortune and finding the temporary balance between the here and now and planning for eternity.

The bible translators give titles to the passages in the Bible so here is Steve’s title for today’s passage. “why live in a pop up tent when you can have a home for eternity?”

Steve at this point opens a large pop up tent more or less on top of the front row of the congregation!

Today many people are settling for the here and now a mindset encouraged by advertising. Video game adverts that exaggerate the real experience of the game, Hungry Hippos advert that shows a family in blissful harmony, not the reality of playing the game in Steve’s experience. So what you find is that what you purchased was unrealised and unfulfilled hope, a life in a pop up tent. Paul on the other hand wants to point us towards eternal hope. That same hope that was shared with us by Ollie, because like us he had a choice to make to live for now and be self centred or to live for eternity and have his focus on God. Oliver has made his decision and that is why he was baptised today.

Hope gives us an eternal perspective on daily living. Do you find that sometimes life really stinks? The apostle Paul knew this, he was flogged, stoned, beaten, robbed and shipwrecked three times (suggest you don’t get in a boat with him!) but his hope was in heaven. It was his eternal hope in the things unseen that gave him a different perspective on suffering here and now. Our suffering is temporary but the glory of his hope is beyond compare. Ollie has known some pretty hard times, the loss of Naomi was one of those times, yet today he has reminded us that God gives him hope, a hope that outweighs all the suffering of today.

Hope gives us an eternal perspective on time. Today our world is full of uncertainty. Employment, health, housing, relationships in society today none of these things are permanent so people are left living in fear of what is to come. But Paul says we are to live with “groans” not groans of pain or despair but the anticipatory groans of children travelling in a car or the approach of Christmas. We should groan with longing for the world that is to come because what we ultimately place value and importance on is not of this world.

Our hope comes through Christ. Our hope as Christians is in Jesus so our message of hope brings us to the cross and also to judgement because we are reminded that we must stand before the judgement seat of Christ. But our hope of the good news of Jesus is that Jesus himself speaks up for us because he has already taken the punishment for our sin. So, yes, our lives have been changed but not by works or deeds but by faith in Jesus Christ.

And so you have a choice. To live in a pop up tent in the here and now or to live by faith trusting in the hope of eternity anticipating all that is to come. That is what Oliver has chosen, the question is, will you?

“It may be that you have never chosen to follow Jesus but if you want to know more why not do the Stepping Stones course. Maybe you wan’t to thank him that he died for you and want him to take away the sin in you heart. If you are already a Christian you may want to get your hope back. So Lord we pray for all those who are thinking of following you for the offer of Love is given for all.”

We stand to sing “Men of faith rise up and sing”

Oliver is then invited up to receive his baptism card with the verse:

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

This is followed by a welcome to membership not just for Oliver but also for Katie and Anne

“Lord Jesus we thank you for our own faith journeys and that you have brought these people to membership in this church. We ask you to help us to support them and to always show them our love.”

We close with singing “My Lighthouse” which is both Katie and Oliver’s favourite song and was also used to close Katie’s baptism service a few weeks ago.

The final song ends with another spontaneous round of applause. What a wonderful morning and what a fantastic witness for God and truth.

 

 

Psalm 151!

We have been having a challenging and fun time in the “Discovering your shape in mission” Core Group held at Mark and Sue Green’s home. We have enjoyed exploring God’s word, craft evenings pertinent to the week’s topic and most importantly fellowship together.

On Sunday 1 November 2015 we were asked to write a Psalm – this is what we came up with as a team and we decided to share it, our prayer is that it will speak to you in some way…

Oh Lord you have held me when I was at my darkest point
Those around me do not understand my love for you
When you seemed far away from me it turns out you were near…

Hold my hand Lord and keep my eyes turned to you always
When I needed you, you came at just the right time – your time, not mine

Your salvation has kept me safe and I thank you
And I give thanks for all your great gifts.

Albanian Shoe Box Appeal

ALBANIAN SHOE BOX APPEAL

ALBANIAN SHOE BOX APPEAL
BAPTIST WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP

The BWF held their last formal meeting in June this year but have continued to meet once a month informally in members’ homes.

When Steve spoke about the Albanian Shoe Box Appeal some of our ladies thought it would be a good project for us to be involved with. We collected together a large number of items which had been suggested on the sheet we had from the West of England Baptist Association (WEBA) and we were able to fill ten shoe boxes plus a bag full of other items that were over as we did not have enough shoe boxes for them. These boxes were taken to Cairns Road Baptist Church on 17th October where the whole project is being co-ordinated. They will be going to Albania in the next couple of weeks.

I would like to thank everyone who collected items for these boxes – it was so good to see them full to overflowing with such lovely things. I know that we all enjoyed this project and we were amazed to see how much was given from such a small group of people.

We just pray that these boxes will bring pleasure to those who receive them and that God’s love will shine through to the Albanian families.

 

Maureen Price

Katie’s Baptism

KatieBaptism00

Arriving at the church to the sounds of the music group practising “My Lighthouse” and seeing the baptistery prepared gave a feeling of joy for Katie who will be going through those waters in the service. The long banner above the baptistery reads:

“Here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptised?”

Going in the water with Katie will be Kaye who has been helping her on her journey to this point in her faith. Many other people pivotal in Katie’s life are here to join her celebration.

The service began with the music group performing “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”. The music group is larger than usual with Adam joining them on bass and several friends of Kate joining to sing – as well as Katie herself of course! Its worth noting that most of the music for the service was chosen by Katie to reflect her own journey.

Steve (our minister) opened the service with a welcome for this special day to everyone who has travelled from far and wide. And invited everyone to the bring and share lunch afterwards.

Katie’s testimony started with a journey through her life. She led us through how growing up as a ‘minister’s kid’, as she put it had its good and bad points but despite learning lots about God she had never really examined her own belief. When she was 14 she worked through Stepping Stones 1 with Kaye and then decided to wait for a sign that she was on the right path before giving her life. Months passed and God seemed silent, she talked of how she was confused and rejecting, blaming her life for God’s apparent absence. She finally decided, following a talk about “sitting on the fence” at the Baptist assembly of all places, to get off her particular fence and went back to Kaye where she prayed her prayer of commitment. She led the whole church in that same prayer before thanking all the people in her life that had helped her reach this point.

KatieBaptism01

Katie, Steve and Kaye went into the water where Katie was asked if she rejected the devil and put her life and trust in Jesus Christ. She was then plunged backward under the water and rose to her new life and rapturous applause. While Steve and Kaye prayed with Katie in the water the music group led the congregation in the worship song “How Great Are You Lord”.

KatieBaptism02

KatieBaptism03

Steve’s talk “What do you do with Good News”

Reading from Luke 4:14-30 “Jesus Begins His Work”

Steve’s talk focussed initially on newspapers and the bad news they always seem to convey and how despite technological change the purveyors of news are much the same as they were when he was doing his paper round many years ago. He went on to say that in Jesus’ day the news was much the same with people wearing sack-cloth and ashes in mourning of their nation. Into this Jesus stood up and, to the condemnation of his peers, said that not only was Isaiah a message of good news but that it was a message to everyone and not just the Jews. Today the message of Jesus has not changed. Katie has reminded us that the message of the Bible is a message of good news, that God loves all of us. She also reminds us that God not only impacted her life but wants to impact yours. But there are two things we must do with good news.

Good news needs to be shared: Steve talked about beating Gordon at golf for only the second time in eight years and how he tried to share this good news, largely with deaf ears. This illustrated that what one person thinks is good news may not be good news to someone else, however it is still good news. We need to thank Katie for her witness because good news needs to be shared!

Good news needs to be received: Steve held up a five pound note and said the first person who reached it could have it, only three of our young people reacted and Anthony got the money. It was a real offer but very few believed it. This was to illustrate that just because you don’t believe something doesn’t stop it being true.

In a world of bad news where sin, death and the devil are alive and well, God has not abandoned us, God is with us, God cares about us and offers us life and hope. The question is what will you do with the news? Will you hear that news and will you act upon it? You may choose to reject it, that is your choice, but even if you reject it it doesn’t stop it being good news. My prayer, the prayer of this church and Katie’s prayer is that you will choose to receive the good news and come to God for forgiveness and hope.

After Steve’s talk Katie and the music group led the church in worship once again with the song Cornerstone.

Before the close of the service Katie was invited back out for prayer and to be presented with her baptism card which reads.

“You are my servant. I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:9b-10

All that was left was to close the service in song with “O Happy Day” and “My Lighthouse”

 

Photographs Copyright 2015 Sue Green www.imagescape-designs.com

 

Barnabas

A fantastic weekend of mission and fellowship with Roger Jones, his team and his latest musical Barnabas.

barn-mainIt all started Saturday morning when over sixty people aged from eight to eighty arrived to sing in the choir. Annie Routley soon had them sorted out and training began. Learning the musical was a huge amount of fun but with twelve pieces in four part harmony it was no mean task.  By lunchtime we were over half way through, finishing the last few songs afterwards and we still had time for a full run through before heading home.

Sunday afternoon arrived and so did the choir for a full dress rehearsal with the composer Roger Jones and his team of soloists. The choir were arranged on stage in their final positions with the sopranos up in the choir loft and altos, tenors and bass on the platform. The sound the choir made in full voice was amazing and the rehearsal went off without a hitch. Finally by five we were just about ready for the evening performance.

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Church Meeting 16th July 2015

Due to insufficient members being present, an official Church Meeting was not held, but it was decided to discuss the matters on the agenda, although no FINAL decisions could be made.

Steve opening the meeting in prayer following which he said “We are Christ`s Ambassadors”  We need to `Keep the focus` as we do God`s Kingdom work!.  A time of open prayer followed and the saying of The Lord`s Prayer.

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Communion Offerings – July 2015

On alternate months the additional offerings at the services which include communion are given to other organisations involved in mission, either locally, nationally or internationally.

For July it was decided to support Chaplaincy About Town (ChAT). They are a charity that has been set up by local Christians, to provide a friendly listening ear to businesses, employees, shoppers & anyone who frequents the Weston-super-Mare town centre.

£109.70 has been sent to them – for which they have expressed grateful thanks.

News about ChAT can be found on their website – www.westonchat.org.uk.

 

 

Community Youth Choir Concert

CYC With Music Notes and words Community Youth Choir

On Sunday afternoon a large audience of family, friends and well wishers gathered at Clarence Park Baptist Church for the second concert of the Community Youth Choir which meets there every Tuesday in term time to rehearse.

The thirteen girls who make up the choir, the majority of whom are still at Junior School, delighted everybody with a varied and tuneful programme, mostly consisting of songs from musicals.

 

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Nepal Earthquake – Simigaon School

A big THANK YOU to church members who responded to our article in the June Newsletter on the plight of this community in Nepal. A total of £250 has been received so far. This will be sent to Alan Oatway, a friend in the Lake District, who will personally take it to Nepal, to assist them in rebuilding the school, destroyed on the very day of opening, after 12 years of fund raising by the local community.

If anyone still wishes to donate, there is plenty of time before Alan returns to Nepal in the Autumn.

Thank you once again for your generosity.

Michael and Frances Wedlake.

Baptist Women’s Fellowship

In 1918 the Baptist Women’s League was started in Clarence Park Baptist Church. Over the years this afternoon meeting for the ladies and friends of the Church was well attended. Many folk drew great inspiration and help from those afternoons spent together.

In recent years however, numbers have dropped off and despite the fact that the programmes were always varied and yet still had a Christian content, ladies didn’t seem to want to come out in an afternoon. The leaders and members over the last few years have tried very hard to encourage folk to come but their efforts have been in vain. We know of course that ladies are working longer and there is so much more now to occupy their time.

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2020 Vision Update

2020 Vision Banner Small

2015 continues to be an exciting year for ‘2020 Vision’ @CPBC as visual resources, new groups, new ministries and special events form part of various initiatives to be developed over the next 5 years.

As we move forward in our original? year visionary plan here are a few updates which encapsulates our ‘2020 Vision @CPBC.

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Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody

EverybodySomebodyNobodyAnybodyAs I sit in my office I am waiting a call from a furniture company. A few weeks ago we had a new sofa delivered but it got damaged as the delivery drivers carried it into the house. Each delivery man at that point blamed the other. Subsequently the delivery branch then blamed the order branch and no one wanted to take responsibility for sorting it out. Then came the repairer who did a temporary repair and ordered the replacement cover to be fitted.

When the new cover came it was the wrong material completely. And so began a new game of the mis-order being the fault of someone else …. The truth is …. all we want is the sofa sorted. So in my frustration I have just sent off an email to the CEO of the company …. mind you he will probably blame someone else!

All of this reminds me of the poem that was written about Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody. In case you have never heard it, it goes like this:

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