Message from our Pastor
Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story …”
Dear Brothers and Sisters
God’s people have always delighted to retell the stories of what the Lord has done, and rightly so. It is a great way of offering worship to God and encouraging one another at the same time.
As you read these reports, do so with thanksgiving and prayer. We are not patting ourselves on the back in this booklet; rather, we are counting our blessings and acknowledging that every good gift has come from the hand of our loving Heavenly Father. We know also that we continually face challenges and long for more gospel fruit to be grown in our lives. But we have every reason to be thankful for the past and confident in God for the future, so read these pages in a spirit of worship, and give God the glory.
With gratitude to God for your partnership in the gospel
(Pastor) Eddie Larkman
Pastor at Rudloe and leader of Rudloe Tots
The past year has been an amazing opportunity to watch God at work answering prayers and growing the fellowship in Rudloe.
As leaders at Church on the Green, Paul, Adrian and myself have begun meeting to pray twice a month for the whole of the congregation at Rudloe, and I have begun to visit each family or individual in the congregation alphabetically to go through a catechism question by question and, I pray, to encourage each person in our congregation in their walk with Christ. As part of my wider role within CBC I have had the opportunity to visit the LIFE group leaders along with Vicky Stephenson the LIFE groups’ coordinator, which has been a great encouragement.
In the last year, Church on the Green have started a cafe running every Saturday afternoon, and we’ve seen people in the community not only attend the cafe, but come along to other events we’ve put on, including our Christmas services. We’ve also been reintroducing prayer and God’s word into Rudloe tots, and been encouraged by the opportunities to share Jesus that have resulted. I’m grateful to everyone who’s gone to such effort to run these ministries.
We still don’t know what’s going to happen to the community centre in Rudloe, but as I write this we’re in the middle of a day of prayer lifting that very request up before God, and we trust that he will answer according to His good and perfect will, and in a way that will result in His gospel going out into Rudloe.
We’re planning to have (at least) one baptism service this coming year, and will be praying that God will bring more people to know him in this place. In the meantime, with God’s help, we will continue to pray, preach and teach the word, share fellowship and reach out with the gospel in love.
- For gospel opportunities and the boldness, perseverance and courage to take them.
- For the community centre and its future.
- For the cafe, tots, and other outreach events.
- For the community of Rudloe and its representatives in government and local authorities.
- That we would continue to deepen in fellowship with Christ and with one another.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Elder at Church on the Green, Rudloe
This past year has been a year where we have witnessed on many many occasions God’s steadfast faithfulness to Church on the Green. To list a few, we have seen God at work through the miraculous healing of Dave Matthews, His continued provision of a place to meet (despite the continued uncertainty of its future), a body of believers knit closely together in God’s family, the church family supporting one-another both spiritually and practically. Of course there have been times when it has been easy, and times where it has been hard as the usual ups-and-downs of life have ebbed and flowed, but consistently we have known God to be faithful.
As an elder at COTG I am joyfully-burdened with a responsibility to care for the spiritual wellbeing of our brothers and sisters in Christ; seeking to disciple our current church family and seeking to share the hope we have in Christ with unbelievers, that we might see and rejoice in new disciples of Jesus Christ.
Personally this has out-worked itself in a number of ways:
- Teaching God’s word through preaching, leading Junior church, and leading a life group;
- Helping to lead the church in worship, and families at Heart4Rudloe;
- Regular prayer for all of our congregation with Rob and Paul;
- Regular involvement with Heart4Rudloe and Cafe on the Green, reaching both believers and unbelievers with the Gospel;
- Various events with the goal of sharing the Gospel message with the community of Rudloe.
I am in deep gratitude to God’s provision and my brothers and sisters who have loved and supported us throughout the year. The flourishing of our congregation in Rudloe is not something we can lay claim to by our own merit, but something that we give thanks to God for and as we have tried to obediently walk with him over the past 12 months, he has blessed us by his grace!
The coming year
Looking forward to the coming year, please pray for more and more fruit in both my life and the lives of those in our congregation and surrounding community as God is at work. My prayer is that we will see growth in Christian maturity within our fellowship, and will have multiple opportunities to rejoice over new followers of Christ. We want to see the Gospel proclaimed in Rudloe and people saved! Please pray for the protection of the congregation as we follow Jesus over the next 12 months.
Church Secretary Report
Corsham Baptist church is:
- A member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
- A charity since 9 August 2012, registered charity number 1148492.
- The West of England Baptist Association (WEBA) takes responsibility as custodian trustees for the church, manse and 16 Arnolds Mead properties.
- The charitable purposes include the provision and upkeep of the Place of Worship and burial grounds, the carrying on of all religious services, the payment, housing and pensioning of two Ministers of Religion.
Membership is open to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ and have been baptised as believers by immersion. At the end of 2016 there were 187 members on the roll. During the year 14 people came into membership, no people were removed from the list, and there was one death. There were four baptisms and four babies were dedicated.
The average number of people attending Sunday morning services in Priory Street and Rudloe in 2016 was 250. The actual figure varies significantly depending on a variety of factors. At the annual Christmas nativity services there were more than 240 present. An average of 36 people attend the fort-nightly midweek service.
The church is governed by the Church Meeting, which seeks to discern the mind of Christ for the church. Church Meetings are held once a quarter. Church members may serve as Deacons or Elders on the Leadership Team. Elections are held in accordance with the Church Rules. Elders and Deacons are elected for a three-year term, with no limit to the number of terms they may serve.
The Elders and Deacons, with the Pastors and Youth Pastor, meet together as the Leadership Team to seek the mind of God for the running of the Church. The Leadership Team meets once a month as a whole group and once a month in sub-groups. The Deacons were:-
- Martin Sheringham (Fabric) elected until October 2018;
- Paul Garcia (Deacon at Rudloe) elected until April 2017;
- Wendy Rowe (Mission) elected until July 2018;
- Roger Hammett (Treasurer) elected until Oct 2019;
- Joan Cooper (Pastoral) elected until July 2018;
- Matt Grylls (Music and Worship) elected until April 2019;
The Elders are Alan Christie until April 2018; Alan Kember until April 2017 and Adrian Pillinger until April 2019. The Oversight Team has the responsibility for the spiritual oversight and pastoral care of the Church. In 2016 the members of the oversight team were Eddie Larkman, Rob Durant, Dan Ovens, Adrian Pillinger and Alan Kember and was chaired by Alan Christie. It meets twice a month. Reverend Eddie Larkman and Reverend Rob Durant are the Pastors of Corsham Baptist Church. Eddie leads the Leadership Team and the Oversight Team and takes responsibility for all the affairs of the church.
A Church Secretary and Treasurer are appointed annually and are members of the Leadership Team, with no limit to the number of terms they may serve. Roger Hammett is the Treasurer and Alan Kember is the Church Secretary.
The day-to-day management of the Church is carried out by the Pastors, Eddie Larkman and Rob Durant, supported by Mrs. Louise du Toit as P.A. to the Pastors.
The following ministries of the Church are led by Ministry Leaders proposed by the Leadership Team and confirmed by the Church Meeting:
- Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre Alan Simon
- Toddler Group Sue Sapiano
- The Ark Alexa Simm
- Prayer ministry Helen Christie
- Men’s and prison ministry Ian Holmes
- Women’s ministry Anne Holmes
- P.A. Steve Chilcott
- Health & Safety Tim Mills
- Midweek Service Eric Seager
- Life Groups Vicky Stephenson
- Buildings’ manager Louise du Toit
The accounts provide a summary of the main funds, differentiating in particular between designated funds, unrestricted funds and restricted funds. The main source of income is via regular monthly standing orders and the weekly offerings from members and regular attendees.
Ministries and Activities
The Church continues to provide a benefit to the community by holding two services of public Christian worship on a Sunday morning at Priory Street at 9.15am and 11.15am; one service at the Rudloe Community Centre at 10am and one service on a Sunday evening at Priory Street at 6pm. There is also a Wednesday service held every fortnight at 2pm at Priory Street.
The Church seeks to implement good practice with regards to Child Protection and Protection of vulnerable adults. The Church has a child and youth protection policy based on the Baptist Union’s “Safe to Grow” policy, both of which are available upon request.
The church employs several members of staff to run Church ministries on a part-time basis.
Dan Ovens is our Youth Pastor. Dan and Natalie Ovens and their three children are living in 16 Arnolds Mead. Rhiannon Price is our Children’s Worker, appointed in April 2016.
Our priority is to continue to run the ongoing ministries of the Church, which express the truth of the gospel of Christ and the love of God, to a needy world. These include Toddler Groups which meet weekly in Priory Street and Rudloe; Holiday Bible Clubs/the Light Party – outreach mission for children run at the church and Rudloe during the April and Christmas school holidays; ‘Encounter’, ‘Engage’ and ‘Energise’ – outreaches run weekly for young children in the community; ‘The Ark’, an outreach to parents of young children in the community run once a month on a Saturday morning in the church hall; ladies’ bible studies; a craft group; men’s meetings; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, Corsham Foodbank and Cafe on the Green in Rudloe.
One-off events/services in 2016 included:
- Mission Sunday – international tea
- Persecuted Church Sunday
- Remembrance Sunday
- Harvest Sunday
CBC provides grants to HMF, AIM, Bible Society, Open Doors and BMS. We also have strong links with Compassion and the Oasis Centre in Austria.
The church supports one couple on the mission field in Tanzania. They returned for home assignment in March 2016 and returned to Tanzania in September 2016.
The church supports a couple who are home missionaries for WEC.
The church continues to support the work of International Teams at “The Oasis” in Traiskirchen near Vienna in Austria. One of our couples went on short term mission for three months to support this work in late 2016 and were visited by six church members during this time.
A team went to Africa in the summer of 2016 to assist with the building project at Sanga Sanga in Tanzania where our missionaries are based.
The church continues to support the partnership with Compassion UK by sponsoring children at the Kilifi Project in Kenya. 30 children are sponsored by individuals in the Church with one child being sponsored by the Junior Church.
There are 15 Life groups which meet during the week at various times and days at the church or in homes in Gastard, Corsham, Neston, Katharine Park, Chippenham and Rudloe.
Life Group leaders meet regularly with the pastor and Life Group co-ordinator to discuss the groups.
Future Plans and Priorities
To build upon our vision “to be a gospel-centred church”. Our aim is to make disciples, reach out to the local community with the love and truth of God and to play our part in taking the gospel to “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Contribution of Volunteers
A large proportion of those who worship at the Church participated in the ministries of the Church, in serving, giving or praying. This continues to be a key aspect of church life for all involved in CBC.
Eddie also ran regular preaching workshops for those in our congregation who have an anointing to preach.
Other organisations with which the charity operates
The church is a member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and of The Evangelical Alliance. The Church also works with the Corsham Foodbank and the Corsham Ecumenical Group of Churches in organising the annual Good Friday Walk of Witness, the Christmas Town Carol Service, Bible Sunday, Christian Week of Prayer and Women’s International Day of Prayer.
The Custodian Trustee for the Church is the West of England Baptist Association. The Association holds in Trust the title deeds of the following properties:-
- Corsham Baptist Church, Corsham, Wilts, SN130AP
- Church Manse, 24 The Tynings, Corsham, Wilts, SN13 9DE
- 16 Arnolds Mead, Corsham, Wilts SN13 0BL
No property valuation has been undertaken on the properties in the last financial year, and the values given in the accounts show the insured values.
Church Address Church Solicitors
Corsham Baptist Church As recommended by WEBA
Priory Street, Corsham
Wilts, SN13 0AS
Tel. 01249 701078
Church Bankers Church Auditor
Lloyds Bank Ms Nicky Chandler
High Street Mander Duffill
Corsham 65 St. Mary’s St.
Wilts Chippenham, Wilts SN15 3JF
‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’
Our young people are certainly living out this Scripture! In the privileged position I have of spending so much time with them, I am constantly encouraged by their faith and example. It is a joy to witness them look out for, get alongside, pray for, and share godly wisdom with one another. All this, in addition to the countless ways in which they serve the wider church through junior church, worship band, PA, welcome team etc. out of their love for God.
Looking back at 2016 and giving God thanks:
Some highlights have included celebrating the baptisms of Karen, Dulcie and Xander, seven young people serving enthusiastically at New Wine in children’s teams, taking a group of young people to Soul Survivor, and our annual youth weekend away – drawing near to God and having a lot of fun with a group of 32 others, as we considered our true identity in Jesus. This weekend is always a very precious time and the calibre of leaders that come to make it all happen are exceptional!
Looking forward to the rest of 2017 and prayer points:
- I am enjoying watching the young people contribute in our youth-led study groups through sharing scriptures, testimony, reflections and prayers as well as leading the teaching. The courage, honesty and wisdom that it has taken for them to prepare and lead in different elements of the studies has been a blessing. Please pray that God would continue to lead and use the young people as they prepare and deliver their contributions to the group.
- Later this year, several young people are signed up to serve at New Wine, attend Soul Survivor (at its new location in Stafford), and help at Noise Bristol: joining with nearly 1,000 volunteers showing the love of God in practical ways.
- Please pray that God would use these endeavours to deepen young people’s faith in Him and that as they let their light shine, those around them may see their good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.
- I am currently involved with some community youth-work that takes place in the Community Hub on Fridays, I have been exploring opportunities at Lackham College with Adam (the CofE Vicar), and I am looking to run a volunteers’ retreat later this year. In addition, as I get involved in Corsham School, we have experienced some staffing changes and a new head will be starting at Easter.
- Please pray about these opportunities as I continue to explore them and get involved. Please also pray for Corsham School and our witness there at this transitional time.
For further details of our weekly programme, to stimulate prayer, please refer to the church website, youth board in the hall and youth flier at the back of church.
Overseas mission aims to support those who are called to serve Christ overseas.
The last year has been busy and exciting as we see mission grow in our church with more people involved in short term missions. We thank God for His provisions.
We agreed to support the following mission organisations with specific projects: Compassion, BMS, Open Doors, AIM – Sanga Sanga Conference Centre, Bible Society – Austria, Oasis Centre in Austria – Refugee Outreach and Tearfund.
Steve and Ruth Lancaster are long term missionaries serving in Tanzania with AIM. We had the privilege of having them back in the UK for their home assignment for six months. We welcomed them home with a barn dance and whilst in Corsham Steve preached both here and at Rudloe. They both shared how God has been working in their ministries at different groups/events. Steve and Ruth are now back in Tanzania. Steve preaches and trains Tanzanian pastors to minister to their churches. Ruth teaches English to Tanzanian ladies and runs the admin/ finance books for the Sanga Sanga Conference centre.
Steve and Gill Bryant are long term missionaries working with WEC and are based here. They train and support missionaries working with children. Last year Karen and Adrian Hurley were able to lead a holiday club during their training course at Bulstrode in July. This was a great support to Steve and Gill as it meant the children were well-catered for whilst the parents received their much needed training. Steve also travelled overseas supporting mission schools, delivering safeguarding training and support. They have been writing articles related to education, including for the online magazine ‘Educare’ and are in the process of updating and having a book published.
Neal and Lesley Grindrod spent three months in Austria working with the Oasis mission team in Traiskirchen supporting refugees practically and sharing the gospel with them.
Mission Sunday was celebrated with an International Tea and Steve Lancaster preached on Jonah chapter 3 – Proclaiming God’s message in a Hostile Environment.
A few of our young people have served overseas, some making use of our Killingback Fund. These were
- Hannah Little (Tanzania building team and France – The Jungle Camp),
- Matthew Little – (Building team in Mexico with Urban Saints/ School),
- Callum (Tanzania building team),
- Anne Saunders (Rio de Janeiro – Street Child United.)
A team of builders went out to Tanzania for about two weeks to build dormitories for those staying at the conference centre. These are already in use.
2017 – Overseas Mission work for 2017 is looking exciting. Please pray for those involved, preparations, safety and good health whilst they serve the Lord. Please do come and join us at our monthly prayer meetings.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
We meet monthly for bible study, usually the last Monday of the month. These meetings are open to all women in the church and are very well attended by a broad age range.
This year we have been looking at “One Anothering”, God’s gift of grace for our growth in Christ; areas including praying, forgiving, encouraging one another and bearing one another’s burdens. Our studies have been thought-provoking, challenging and encouraging us to “one another“ in alignment with the gospel message.
To encourage us to be accountable and to share life together around the word of God, we offer “study buddies”. Women meet together in pairs to study and pray for just one hour each month. This has been a huge blessing to those who take part and currently 42 women are committed to meeting with their buddies and as they study, pray and share one another’s lives, they are seeing God grow them as they journey together. If you would like to be paired with a buddy please let me know.
Our blog for women has been running for over a year now with contributions from Kathy Larkman, Sharon Durant, Vicky Stephenson, Pam Mitchell and Lesley Grindrod. This is another way for the women in our church to stay connected and be encouraged. There is a weekly post and the opportunity for feedback. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out, grab a “cuppa” and visit www.cbcgraceplace.org.uk.
If you would like to know more about women’s ministry, please see me at the 11.15am service.
This reporting period saw the CBC Men’s Ministry Team expand to reflect a younger and more dynamic demographic profile. With the team expanded to seven, the ability to spread the work load and associated logistics means that the Men’s Ministry is on a secure ‘footing’ to continue to move forward in helping men in their walk with Jesus. The new team has a vision to be imaginative in the way men’s events are structured; the following highlights have occurred so far:
- Curry night in June 2016;
- Curry night in September 2016 (looking at prayer and the associated traumatic events of Alfie Kelly’s life-threatening illness and Dave Matthews’ horrific motorbike accident);
- Pizza & quiz night in December 2016 (social);
- Curry night in March 2017 (looking at Cheap Grace vs Costly Grace);
Coming up we have …..
- Walk (and refreshments in a local hostelry) scheduled for Easter 2017;
- BBQ in June 2017;
- Men’s Weekend in September 2017;
- A traditional meal of something spicy in November / December 2017.
At least two groups of men continue to meet and study the word together on a regular basis. These might be defined as:
- The Last of the Summer Wine Group (an older bunch!);
- The Monday Night Group (an eclectic bunch – always looking for new members).
Prison Ministry remains active. Work continues in three prisons: HMP Erlestoke; HMP Bristol; and HMP Ashfield. CBC men take the lead for delivering Christianity Explored (prison version) and Discipleship Explored (prison version) in each of these establishments. Corsham men also remain active in preaching and leading services, most notably at HMP Erlestoke and HMP Bristol.
The church sound system serves two purposes: to amplify sound for those attending services and to record sermons for those who do not attend.
It is manned by a team of faithful volunteers who skilfully balance the requirements of musicians, singers, speakers and listeners to make sure we hear everything we all need to without drawing our attention to the technology. We are always looking for new volunteers so if you are interested in helping, please contact Steve Chilcott.
In the past year we have replaced the recording system and added a crèche speaker. By the time you read this, we will have replaced the main hall speakers to improve the overall sound!
Please pray for:
- The sound system operators. It can get quite complex at times;
- The leadership as we decide how to maintain and improve the system.
Category: Mission and Ministries