Aid for Nepal



This Sunday we will be taking up an offering to help provide aid to those suffering in Nepal following the devastation of the recent major earthquake.

Please pray for the people in Nepal and for how you might support them.

The offering made at our Sunday services (both at Rudloe and Priory Street) will be passed on to  the International Nepal Fellowship who will distribute the money appropriately according to the need in Nepal.

Let us be united as a church in Christ and in compassion for those suffering in Nepal.

Newsletter 26th April 2015

Annual Church Meeting

At the church meeting on Monday night, it was agreed to move to two Sunday morning services at 9.15am and 11.15am starting in September. We will keep the church fully informed as we progress with these plans.

At the meeting, the following people were brought into membership of Corsham Baptist Church:

Rob and Sharon Durant

Chris Drake

Graham and Jo Redfern

Alan Christie was elected Elder for another term and Rhiannon Price was elected as CBC’s new Children Deacon.

Copies of the Ministry Booklet produced for the ACM are on the table at the back. Please take a copy!

Prayer Meeting

Sunday’s evening service is the first of three prayer meetings (April, May and June). We will look at why we pray. Steph will then lead us in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world. We would really encourage as many people as possible to come along to this meeting.

Pastors’ Days Off

Please note that these are when our Pastors have their days off:

Eddie Larkman- Tuesdays

                Rob Durant – Fridays

                Dan Ovens – Saturdays

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study is taking place tomorrow night, 27th April at 7.30pm. Please speak to Kathy or Anne if you would like to know more about these monthly meetings. Studies are on the table at the back (light green sheets).

CBC Craft Group

Craft Group are meeting again on Saturday 2nd May, 10am- 12.30 in the coffee hall.  There will be a mini workshop in fabric boxes; knitting and crochet will be going on, there will  be lace work to see and card-making along with all the other skills we are blessed with. Oh and chat and coffee and cake!  For more information see Pam or Kathy or just pop in next Saturday and see what we are doing.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the latest Lancaster newsletter are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am; Craft Group, 10am

…Looking ahead…

3rd May: Infant Dedication, 10.45am

6th May: Midweek Service, 2pm; Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

10th May: Infant Dedication, 10.45am

12th May: The Lunch Club, 12 o’clock

20th May: Midweek service, 2pm

30th May: The Ark, 10am

31st May: Prayer service, 6pm

3rd June: Midweek service, 2pm

6th June: Craft Group

8th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

10th June: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting

17th June: Midweek service, 2pm

20th June: TLC summer party, 3pm

12th April 2015 newsletter


We warmly welcome the friends and families of those who are being baptised this morning. Please stay for refreshments after the service.

Rob Durant’s Induction

Rob’s induction service is being held at Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street, next Saturday, 18th April at 2pm. We look forward to welcoming Rob to the pastorate of CBC and everyone is invited to celebrate this special day in the life of this fellowship. Rob will be a pastor of Corsham Baptist Church with specific oversight of the new Rudloe Congregation.

Thank you!

“A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way at the holiday club which was held last Tuesday to Friday.  It was an amazing week, both children and adults had a fantastic time.  You are all truly wonderful. Thank you!.” Rhiannon

9am and 11am Services

On 28th June, we will commence our two-service Sundays – one at 9am and the other at 11am. Alan Kember will be the elder overseeing the 9am service and Alan Christie will be overseeing the 11am service. Please talk to either Alan Kember or Alan Christie as you consider which service you would like to attend and serve at. Please note there will be junior church facilities at both services. Examples of areas of serving could be: junior church, worship, sound, projection, intercessory prayer and prayer ministry, greeting, money-counting, teas.

Annual Church Meeting

Please note, the Annual Church Meeting will be held on Monday 20th April at 8pm at Priory Street followed by an ordinary Church Meeting. This is a very important evening as we will conduct leadership elections and there will be other important discussions concerning church life on the agenda. Previous minutes and the agenda will be made available next week. Please would as many church members as possible attend.

Worship/Creative Movement Sessions

PLEASE NOTE – THIS IS NOT A DANCE CLASS! and not just for girls/women!!It is intended to run the first of 6 sessions on Friday 24th April 7:45pm-9:15.The sessions will be an opportunity to explore various creative ways of moving in worship and expressing our heart before God. Anyone 16 or over is welcome to come along – the sessions will be accessible to all including those needing to be chair-based. Please speak to Mandy for more info.

The Vicar of Baghdad

Canon Andrew White is the priest in-charge of one of the world’s most beleaguered churches and the hardships faced by him and his congregation are almost intolerable.

However, the resilience and faith of the Christians in Baghdad are an inspiration to us all and in spite of the repression, prejudice and persecution there is real hope and belief in the salvation to be found in Christ which is shared by us all.

The moving story of Canon Andrew White and his fellow Christians is told by the Rev. David Post in a one hour audio/visual presentation which reveals the challenges and difficulties of being a Christian in one of the most unstable countries in the world.

Following his retirement, David visited St George’s Church, Baghdad and on his return to Britain he decided to travel the length and breadth of the country to highlight the work of the church to as many people as possible; his mode of transport is by bicycle.

David will be telling their story at St. Bartholomew’s church, Corsham on Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm. The evening is free and refreshments will be served during the event.

Steve’s visit to Central Asia

Steve is currently in Central Asia where he is visiting various missionary teams and speaking at a conference.  Steve and Gill would really value your prayers during this time.  For further information, please speak to Gill or see the church website or the missions notice board in the coffee hall.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the Lancaster newsletter for March are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania.

Pilgrim’s Friend Fund-Raiser

Please see the poster at the back regarding a music concert in aid of Pilgrims’ Friend Society. Nancy Sawyer will be singing a few pieces at the event. Saturday 25th April, 7pm at Zion Church in Trowbridge. There is a sign-up sheet for tickets next to poster which contains all details.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Tuesday: Vicar of Baghdad presentation, St. Bart’s, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am; Rob’s induction service, 2pm

Looking ahead…

20th April: Annual Church Meeting and Ordinary Church Meeting, 8pm

22nd April: Midweek service, 2pm

24th April: First worship/creative movement session, 7.45pm

25th April: The Ark, 10am

27th April: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

2nd May: Craft Group, 10am

3rd May: Infant Dedication

6th May: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

10th May: Infant Dedication


The times, they are a-changin’

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

So sang Bob Dylan in 1964.  And changes are afoot for us in Morogoro in various ways – in our team, our roles and the weather!  

Crops growing well at
Sanga Sanga

In the last couple of weeks the rainy season has begun.  Everywhere is greening up and people are hard at work in their shambas clearing and planting.  We’re enjoying the slightly cooler weather that comes with the season.  Not so welcome is all the mud and mess that comes down the mountain with the heavy rains, blocking the ditches and flooding the roads!

This month our team mates, Tony and Cath Swanson, return to the UK for 6 months’ home assignment.  Tony has been managing the day-to-day operations at Sanga Sanga (amongst other things) and in his absence we and the Dixons will continue with this.  We would appreciate your prayers for us as we spend more time there liaising with the workers, paying their wages, receiving guests and dealing with any issues that come up.  Matt will continue planning for the construction of the conference hall which, God willing, will commence once the rainy season has finished in May.

Matt’s construction site office 
at Sanga is coming on well

You may not know that Tanzania is very much a cash society.  With the highest denomination of banknote being 10,000 shillings (around £3.50), withdrawing cash from the bank or ATM means that you frequently have hundreds of thousands of shillings in cash on your person when you visit town to do business, purchase supplies etc.  Vigilance and common sense are required – please do pray for our personal security as we go about our business in town. Ruth will take over managing the cash funds of Sanga Sanga and the Institute from Tony.  The process is that when funds are required, Ruth liaises with AIM’s Eastern Region Office in Nairobi to request a transfer of funds (donations from supporters). She then visits the bank to withdraw the cash in dollars and goes on to a bureau de change to change it into shillings.  It may be one of the more mundane aspects of ministry but it’s also fairly important to get it right!

Last month we welcomed two temporary team mates – Katherine and Melody – who are in Morogoro for three months to learn Swahili. After that they will be living in the village of Pande, near Tanga.  Pande is a majority Muslim village and the people are from the Digo tribe – an unreached people group.  We recently visited Pande to meet the pastor of the AICT church there, check out accommodation for Katherine and Melody and visit Amani Primary School where they will be working.  It was a productive visit and the two ladies are looking forward to getting there. 

Beautiful Arusha National Park

We’ve been on the road a lot in the last month.  We recently travelled up to Arusha, a journey of some 10.5 hours, to attend an AIM Emerging Leaders conference with other mission partners from Tanzania and Kenya.  It was good to spend time with this small group, to get to know people better and to receive training in various aspects of leadership.  A change of plans at the end of that week meant that we had an unexpected free day, so we treated ourselves to a day of bird-watching in Arusha National Park.  We managed to add another 10 new birds to our list, including the Broad-billed Roller and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, if you’re interested!  But the highlight of the day was driving up through dense forests to the rim of a volcanic crater and gazing down at the almost Eden-like sight below us.  There was no access inside the crater, so what we saw was untouched by human hands – a vast area of forest and marsh land.  Buffalo grazed undisturbed and Colobus monkeys frolicked in the trees.  We almost expected to see dinosaurs stroll out from the trees, reminiscent of the film Jurassic Park! 

‘Motorway’ service station – not closed for repairs!

Unit Leadership
As part of our call to Tanzania, a Bible passage that played a confirming role for Steve was the story of Elisha’s calling at the end of 1 Kings 19 (v. 19-21).  Here was Elisha going about his daily business, ploughing his fields, when out of the blue steps the prophet Elijah, who simply throws his cloak over the shoulders of Elisha – and then seemingly runs off!  It might sound a strange passage but for various reasons there were a number of elements to that story that rang true for Steve.  Whilst not equating Tony Swanson to the camel-skin wearing Elijah, the time seems to have come for the transference of the cloak so to speak!  And that mantle of unit leadership will be taken up by Steve when Tony leaves for home assignment on 6th April. 

So, what will unit leadership involve?  The core task will be to ensure member care for those in the Eastern Tanzania unit, currently numbering 23 adults, and that will include visitation, debriefs and reviews, and encouraging members in their current ministries.  Amongst other things, Steve will also be helping to oversee housing and immigration issues for the missionaries, as well as maintaining relationships with partner organisations, and working with the AICT church to further their efforts to work in unreached areas of Tanzania. 

Steve says, “A few months ago I read a very practical book on leadership by Dave Kraft, and he defined a Christian leader in this way: ‘A Christian leader is a humble, God-dependent, team-playing servant of God who is called by God to shepherd, develop, equip, and empower a specific group of believers to accomplish an agreed-upon vision from God.’  In no way am I saying that that describes me, but I think the quote sums up what I want to be and need to be as I take on this responsibility of supporting AIM missionaries here in eastern Tanzania.  I would certainly value your prayers as I take this on, and maybe you could use the specifics of that quote to pray for me: that God would enable me to support our folks here in a humble and God-dependent way, and that I would be a person who intentionally and lastingly influences others, for His glory and purposes.” 

Thank you for your continued interest and prayerful support.  We pray that you will be truly blessed as you reflect on God’s sacrificial love this Easter time.  

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil. 2: 9-11

AICT Dakawa, near Morogoro –
the ‘shed’ church!

For your prayers:

  • Please pray for us as we both prepare talks – Steve in Swahili for the pastors’ seminars and Ruth for a Ladies Retreat in May.
  • Pray for Steve as he takes over as Unit Leader, for wisdom and insight into this new role.
  • Pray for Tony & Cath Swanson as they begin home assignment, and for the Dixons and ourselves in their absence.
  • Pray for Ruth as she manages the cash for Sanga Sanga, for good systems and processes.

Diary Dates for April:

6th:             Tony & Cath leave for home assignment in UK.  Steve takes up Unit Leader role 
                    for Eastern Tanzania, initially for six months
19th:            Steve preaching at Dakawa AICT church  
22nd–26th:   Mini-break on the coast, south of Dar

Random photos of the month:

Half coach – half lorry!  The words on the front say
‘The Grace of God’!
Home-made roadworks sign!