Category: Mission and Ministries


We the redeemed shall be strong, in purpose and unity

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari!

It has been a wee while since the last email and all for good reason – we have been working really hard this week in particular, in an effort to complete the toilet and shower block (built by the Corsham team in June) and make sure that everything functions as it should and that it looks fairly presentable, ready for the Oak Hall group arriving on Thursday from the UK. The plumbing is now nearly completed but we have yet to install the solar hot-water system on the roof and fit the doors, so it will be a last big push through to Thursday and then hopefully collapse in a heap on Friday (us, not the shower block!) As we have worked all week up till today we are already having a little practice at collapsing in a heap, so today we are mostly doing nothing!

We are SO thankful for a lovely place in which to rest! Sitting on the verandah, overlooking the huge variety of trees and greenery here I would say it is peaceful and in a way it is but adding their voices to the silence are the numerous neighbourhood cockerels competing for top spot in the pecking order, several gangs of combatting sparrows nesting in the eaves above our heads and the intriguing chatter and song of passers by who wander up and down the cut-through alley way at the side of the house which leads down to a stream and then eventually onto the road where Steve and Ruth live. The monkeys have yet to make an appearance…

Steve and Ruth will be leading the group from Oak Hall and have been working hard, planning and getting covered in dust along with us down at the Sanga Sanga site. They have also been very supportive this week especially as it did not start in a good way…

So Tuesday was probably the worst day we have had so far, in saying that though it was the only really difficult day we have had so far, which all things considered is pretty good!
It has been dubbed Leaky Tuesday as every pipe we plumbed or laid, well you guessed it, leaked; it seemed as if every connection failed and hours were spent fixing other leaky things on site before getting on with our main work. That in itself was just frustrating, just part of life but we were so tired at the end! The other issue which left us feeling a little vulnerable was that one of the guard dogs belonging to the house where we are staying became ill very quickly and died that evening. It all happened within hours and not knowing the system here and feeling quite responsible for someone else’s dog was difficult. At the end of a long story, we watched and waited with Luka, the night guard, as the poor dog breathed its last.
Not to mention the other animal death earlier that same day…

George, the calf born on site this year, became ill on Monday and when we arrived on Tuesday morning the first thing we ask is

‘How is George?’

‘Oh, George is dead…come and see’

I follow Amos the guy who looks after the 3 cows (now 2) through to the field behind the cowshed expecting to see poor George’s body…instead there is George, in 3 buckets, being dissected and examined. Francis holds up (a little too closely) the lungs and heart for me to comment on…

‘Look,’ he says, ‘You can see the bad bit there!’
‘Yes, quite…thank you…’

Later we see some of George bubbling away in a pot on the campfire – the dogs dinner of course – waste not want not, a far cry from the plastic wrapped joint from the supermarket.
For those interested parties, the campfires have been very useful in heating pipes so that we can bend them to make them fit – always think outside the box!

The song in our heads this week…

‘And we the redeemed shall be strong, in purpose and unity.
Declaring aloud, praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honour and power and strength.
Be to our God forever and ever!’

We pray for the ability to get done what needs to be done this week and to stay wholly reliant on Him!

Love to all,
Jo and Martin

PS Thanks for all the snippets of news and info we get from folks back home!

Not in the dog house!

Tim,

Habari!

Hi to you all,

It has been a good day, I know that because I am covered in paint and we are both sat outside with a cuppa for the last hour of sunlight – sun always sets around 6pm whatever time of year – Martin is quiet so I know he is tired!

Now that the plasterwork is finished and the ‘windows’ (read grates with mesh for windows) are in, we have started working back on the shower and toilet block that we built when the team were here – Martin is making doors for the cubicles and planning the plumbing and I am, of course, painting…

Jo preparing more paint

Jo preparing more paint

It took us just over a week to get the showers in the retreat house fully functioning, just in time as there will be a big group staying on the site for the next few days.

It is really good to notice that relationships with the staff on site are going well, as they now come and tell us about things that need fixing etc.
The bees have been a bit of a problem this week, that is African bees, with a bit of a reputation. They tend to swarm angrily around the workshop in the afternoons and we have to light fires, the smoke keeping them at bay. They also seemed to follow me around today wherever I was painting, they obviously have words to say about the colour or my sloppy technique? As long as you don’t make any sudden movements they are ok…
Staff were very happy when Martin made a new door out of scrap wood that was lying around for the dog house (ok so he wasn’t actually in the dog house, then…) see photo on facebook, if you are ‘friends’ !

I went along to a ladies prayer breakfast on saturday morning – sounds very civilised, and it certainly was – a great group of English speaking ‘gals’ from Zimbabwe, USA, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania as well as UK. We were saying goodbye to a German lady who has run an orphanage here for nearly 20 years. We had an interesting chat as she comes from Berlin and trained in the hospital where youngest daughter was born…

So life continues here in Morogoro and Sanga Sanga – not always full of excitment, like life the world over, but we are happy to work and know that the small things we do are making a difference.

I almost forgot! How could I possibly say that life is not exciting when the local council, or somebody official, came and scraped a few inches off the road surface up to our house this week – that may mean nothing but if you can imagine the difference between driving across the Grand Canyon and what is now a farm dirt track, then you will understand our joy!!

Let’s see what they can manage next week…?
Love to all,
Jo and Martin

Meet a missionary

Tim,

Sorry for the terrible alliteration in the title, it just seemed irresistible ;-).

You will have seen in the church notices that Gill and Steve Bryant are holding an open evening with the WEC course participants this evening and we (the wider congregation) have been invited to join them.

So why not take this opportunity to find out more about both Steve and Gill’s work and that of the participants? Perhaps God is calling you to support this work in prayer, financially or some other way?

7.45pm at Priory Street

Plumbing, Chai and Singing

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari!
Hi to you all
We are getting a little hotter here, hope the summer in the UK is still a good one (I guess if you’re a gardener the lack of rain might make it not so?!) Sounds like CBC has been and is very busy, for all the right reasons.

Our main job at the moment is sorting out the hot and cold water systems for the showers both in the retreat and on the campsite, not a fun job, although Martin is determined to get it all going, literally by hook or by crook! We have deployed an old electric water heater for the campsite which by end of play today should be up and running…tomorrow ‘we’ will be attempting to re-plumb the retreat system, please pray as this has been teeth-grindingly tricky and frustrating to fix!

Steve and Ruth have family visiting and have been able to enjoy a few days away with them, Cath Swanson has been in Senegal but is back now and Tony has been here but is now in Uganda/South Africa till next week. The whole team here have been so supportive and thoughtful and have allowed us to fit in as best suits us, which is perfect (hope they think so too!) They were especially kind this weekend as I was under the weather again and slept thru most of it, but all back, up and running now…

As mentioned in an earlier email the Tanzanian regular staff here have a chai break late morning but they always have a little service beforehand – singing, praying and reading the Bible – I joined them yesterday and they came and asked us to come again today. They have a book with the words for singing otherwise I would be totally lost and I can just about follow the Swahili Bible readings, if it is a familiar passage that is. Even though I understand so little I can still sing ‘Yesu nakupenda’ !

I just asked Martin if there was anything he wanted to add and he said…’he is mortally wounded because they don’t have any Knipex plumbing pliers here!’ His words not mine… He thoroughly enjoys the mad chaos of Morogoro town, driving badly is a forgotten art in England, he says!

We are home now from Sanga Sanga, cup of tea in the garden and watching the monkeys.

Love to all,
Jo and Martin

Hello to you all and greetings from Tanzania!

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

It is winter here atm and so working in the mid-twenties is not too bad at all, I gather the UK has been hotter?!

The team have gone and Martin and I are now on the second bit of our little adventure in Africa… They did an amazing job and we can verify that the shower and toilet block we built is still standing. The Tanzanian builders who worked with us are now cracking on with the finishing off and we see them everyday even though we are now busy with other projects. I am mostly painting so far (I feel that that will be a never ending task, which is good as I quite enjoy it) and Martin is fixing things all over the place, no surprise there… Of course we cant just nip down to our local DIY store or plumbers’ merchants and pick up a widget or two, they don’t really exist in the same way here. But that is good as it stretches the brain and we have to use whatever is available: the throw-away-society doesn’t really exist either…

We are staying in a house in Morogoro at the foot of the Uluguru mountains, the view is really lovely! There are banana trees in the garden – not sure who will get the nearly ripe bananas first, us or the monkeys… We are trying to dive right into everyday life here, Swahili is improving a little each day (?) and we have been to the local church, all in Swahili, rather than the English speaking one.

God has kept us safe through all the new experiences and changes, which have been a little overwhelming at times and we realise more and more each day how much we need to bring to Him in prayer – He is so faithful and so good to us!
This verse struck me today as I was reading at lunchtime:

‘Take courage, do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded’
2 Chronicles 15:7

It encourages us when sometimes we feel that what we are doing is not very much or we are just tired of the physical work and it isnt really making a difference , not that we do it for a reward but rather that our Father – ‘Baba’ (Swahili) – sees our hearts and encourages us to keep on going!

Love to all and enjoy a good English summer…
Jo and Martin

Farewell Kenya, Hello Tanzania

Tim,
Mass of purple Bougainvillea flowers

[Note from Tim: Sorry for back-posting, this is a bit of a catch up for those that may not be keeping up to date on social media]

Hi Everybody,

I hope this message finds you well. Thank you for all the emails we have received encouraging us and assuring us of your prayer support. We are certainly keeping you in our prayers if you’ve been in touch with requests. It was wonderful to see the pictures from the baptisms and picnic in Rudloe on Sunday – we were praying for you – and we will be thinking of everyone from Church on the Green next Sunday when you start meeting at Crumpets Cafe! (As a side note… I love crumpets!) It’s great to hear your news so please email if you have time as we should have Internet in Tanzania.

Thank you for your prayers for James’s back – it has been much better this week. Thank you also to those who have been praying for my health. Some of you may know I had to make a trip to Kijabe hospital’s private clinic as I had a gut problem and needed a course of antibiotics. I completed the course today and feel MUCH better. What a blessing to have such a good clinic/hospital nearby right when I needed it! Please pray for continued good health.

It is with mixed emotions I say that tonight is our last in Kenya! We’ve had such a special time here it will be sad to split off into our separate groups. However, we’re also very eager to put all we’ve learned into practice and actually be amongst the Matumbi people in Chumo Village, Tanzania who we’ve been praying about since we heard we’d be going to them. We’re also looking forward to meeting the team from Africa Inland Mission who are already there. We will be staying with Jeremy and Jenell Morris and our team mate Lauren will be staying with Rachel Lagoste. They have already spent over 2 years living in Chumo Village, learning the language, building relationships with the people, praying for them and sharing stories from the Bible which connect together to show God’s love for all people and his plan to restore us back into right relationship with Him. This is the work we’ll be observing and supporting to the best of our ability. We hope to be a blessing to the missionaries and serve them in any way possible to give them encouragement and respite.

Flat grassland in foreground, rising to rows of mountains disappearing in the distance

Views of the Rift Valley from the minibus.

We had some great teaching on disciple making this week focusing on Luke 10:1-20 in the Bible. Jesus sent out 72 followers to share the good news of the gospel to villages and towns he would be passing through and we studied the instructions he gave them to think about how best to share the good news in the contexts where we will be. I had never really thought about the bit where he advises them not to move from house to house but to find a ‘person of peace’ willing to invite them in and be open to the message and stay there to disciple them. We discussed how much more effective it is to develop deep relationships and share more of God’s word with one person / family so they come to truly believe and be confident in their faith, able to put it into practice in their life, rather than spread the word too thinly so people react with excitement but don’t know what to do / how to follow God when missionaries move on. This fits with Africa Inland Mission’s goal to disciple African people who can then share the good news with their own tribe/people group themselves enabling indigenous churches to be established. In the Bible passage it says the disciples returned from their mission ‘full of joy’ at all they had seen God do. I’m excited to see how God is already working in Chumo and what he’ll do whilst we’re there!

Please pray that our journey will go smoothly, our luggage will miraculously not exceed the weight limit and we’ll have a great few days in Dar es Salaam getting to know Jeremy and Jenell and sorting out Tanzanian phone numbers and any other details. I will be acquiring culturally appropriate clothing for the village so I may look a little different in the photos for our next update!

Some highlights of this past week besides the great teaching we’ve continued to receive have been learning to make chapattis, eating at an amazing Ethiopian restaurant and visiting AIM’s ‘On Field Media’ office.

Banquet of colours and flavours in the Ethopian restaurant we visited

An amazing Ethiopian restaurant

Right, I must go to sleep as we have an early start tomorrow but I just want to send our love to you all. We think of you and miss you. Thank you for your support. Please be praying for us and for the Matumbi people in Chumo Village AND for our fellow team members on the Go Program as they make their way to their placements. We’ll keep in touch as well as we can.

Lots of love,

James and Esther xXx

Ps. The final 3 pics are of the beautiful bougainvillea which is growing everywhere here – I so want to cultivate it in our garden at home – and views of the Rift Valley from the minibus.

Acclimatising and learning

Tim,
GO 2017 team

[Note from Tim: Sorry for back-posting, this is a bit of a catch up for those that may not be keeping up to date on social media]

Hi again everybody,

Lots of love to you all. I can’t believe how quickly the last week has flown by or just how much has happened in it. I hope you are all well but please let us know if there’s anything we can be praying about for you. We think of you and miss you.

Thank you for your prayers that we would be able to absorb as much as possible from the training; our schedule seems quite intense and we found ourselves taking quite a few involuntary naps at the beginning of the week when we were getting used to the altitude and sensory overload of this beautiful place. A typical day here begins with breakfast at 8am, worship and devotion time (a different team member each day shares something God has been doing in their life, teaching them or an encouraging truth about God) from 9 until 10. This is followed (until 11) by a chance for people to share their testimony about how they came to know God and how they got to this point of wanting to serve God in mission. Following a cup of chai or two the real study begins at 11.30 and we have 3 hour and a half sessions throughout the rest of the day led by either long term / experienced missionaries or African nationals who are pastors, university lecturers or who have a particular ministry focus where they are.

These sessions have been incredible – we’ve learned so much, taken so many notes and had great opportunities to ask questions. So far we have spent a lot of time increasing our cross-cultural awareness and this has been closely knit with learning language skills. This is to equip us to be as effective as possible at building relationships, seeing people as individuals and not ‘projects’, and not assuming they represent an entire people group, culture or religion. It sounds simple but I can see how my western-ness is so ingrained and I need to try to see things from a different perspective. We’ve also covered the Biblical, theological and historical foundations of mission seeing how God has always had a plan to restore all his creation to himself – it is his mission and we’re invited to be part of it. As we’re also going on placements to many places where Islam is the main religion we also had some amazing sessions learning about Islam, the Qur’an, how Muslims think of Christianity and their beliefs about Jesus. This was not a time where we prepared arguments or tore down anyone’s beliefs. It was about how we can bridge gaps between Muslims and Christians, learning to understand them, seeing them as individual people and not just set of beliefs, learning to love them and also being ready to ‘give an answer for the hope that we have’ in Christ in a loving and respectful way. One of my favourite sessions took place today because it was about worship which I love. We looked at how we can participate even when we don’t know the language and how we can see beauty in another culture’s way of praising even if it’s very different to our norm.

Just in case you were thinking all this sounds a bit heavy I just wanted to reassure you of how much fun we’re having and how amazing the relationship between team members is. It’s hard to open yourself up and be vulnerable when you’re sharing your personal story but it’s incredible how it draws you together and shows you how you can enjoy, support and encourage each other. How often do we really do this in life? What are the benefits we miss out on?!

We spent our rest day (Saturday) visiting an elephant orphanage and the Nairobi giraffe centre. It was as brilliant as it sounds! It was also great to go to the local church on Sunday and be amongst the community in Kijabe.

James and I were also very privileged to spend several hours with Rachel Anderson from the family James stayed with for 3 months in Kenya in 2014. I loved meeting her, hearing about the work this family is doing, receiving great advice and laughing a lot / ‘setting the world to rights’.

Please can you pray for both me and James and our families too as we have both received sad news from back home this week. Sadly my Grandpa who was 94 passed away on Sunday morning and James’s great grandmother who was 95 passed away on Monday night/early this morning. Please pray for God to comfort us and give us peace as well as helping the families to draw together. We send all our love to our families and want you to know we’re with you in spirit and praying for you as well as sending tons of virtual hugs.

Sorry this has been such a long email but we just want to share as much as we can. Please pray for us as we’re now half way through our training and we’re turning our thoughts to our placement in Tanzania and wanting to be as prepared as possible for it and grow closer to Lauren, the other team member who is going with us. She is WONDERFUL and we’re so happy to be going with her.

Please also pray for healing for James as his back has been very painful which is causing suffering and frustration. Thank you!

Lots of love,

James and Esther xXx

Ministry reports for 2016-17

Tim,

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.

Please pray:

  • 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.

Rob Durant

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.

Adrian Pillinger

Church Secretary Report

Background

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

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.

Attendance

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.

Leadership

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

Church Funds

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.

Church Review

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

Mission

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.

Life Groups

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.

Leadership Training

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.

Church Details

Custodian Trustee

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

Alan Kember

Youth Ministry

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.

Thanks.

Dan Ovens

Overseas Mission

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.

Wendy Rowe

Ladies’ Ministry

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.

Anne Holmes

Men’s Ministry

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.

Ian Holmes

PA Ministry

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.

Steve Chilcott

  Category: Mission and Ministries

Ready to GO 2017!

Tim,
Esther and James at airport

[Note from Tim: Sorry for back-posting, this is a bit of a catch up for those that may not be keeping up to date on social media]
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and encouragement. We had a lovely time in Nairobi at the Mayfield Guest House resting after our journey and meeting the rest of the GO Program team. We’re a diverse bunch with people from Australia, United States, Taiwan, Germany, Bulgaria and the UK of course! Everybody is very friendly and we’re bonding well as a group.

Today we’re making our way to Kijabe where we’ll be staying at the Moffat Bible college and receiving training which will help prepare us for our placements. I’m very excited to see the Rift Valley and see more of Kenya during the drive. We don’t know whether we’ll have reliable WiFi in Kijabe so we my not be posting so much on Facebook but we’ll stay in touch by email.

Sending love and prayers back to you. We are thinking of you as well. Please pray for us that we will bless the team and give our all to God as we lead the worship in Kijabe and pray that we’ll absorb as much as we can in the training.

God Bless,

Love Esther and James xXx

Ps sorry if you’ve seen the pictures already. The first is me and James at Birmingham Airport waiting to board the plane, the second is my first sight of Africa, then sunset from the plane, then landing in Nairobi and finally the guest house where we’ve been staying.

WEC Summer Training Course

Tim,
Welcome to our home sign

Our summer course is filling up with participants from around the world! They will be helping to reach the world for Jesus by looking after and teaching the children of missionaries. We appreciate all the offers of accommodation that we have received so far. We need some more spaces, so if you are able to host a single person or a couple between 23rd and 29th July/3rd August, please see or call Steve or Gill Bryant (not email).

Thank you!

UPDATE 12 Jun 17: Many thanks for your responses, Steve and Gill think they have enough accommodation now.