Esther King, Bible study leader for March’s Titus study

Esther King beautifully taught and led us in the last verses of Titus; 3:9-15 in our March Titus Bible study evening. She recapped from the previous studies how our motivation for what we do is different to the world’s and we have a different purpose in doing it; we should go into things looking for an outcome that glorifies God.

Today Esther encourages us in these next verses to imagine Titus and the Cretans are chomping at the bit to get started, motivation fully grasped and goal firmly in mind. Paul is so keen for them not to fall at the first hurdle! This is so relevant to us today in Corsham!
Titus 3:9-11
9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

1. AVOID….

What is it that sucks us into controversies? What captures our interest? Why do we get so invested in them and het up about them? Does anything useful or ‘profitable for everyone’ come out of them? Or do they damage our relationships with others and take our focus off the things that really matter?

Is there anything to be gained in God’s eyes from a prestigious family line or from anything that gives us status in society? Is a sense of entitlement of this kind useful or profitable in any way? No! It is not because we’re entitled but because of God’s grace!

What is it we’re seeking when we argue and quarrel? If we’re being honest, it’s usually one of two things – firstly, to ‘beat’ the opposition; to be right and to prove the other person or view wrong. OR secondly, to justify something we want to have or do, even though deep down we know it is wrong. Is this useful or profitable? Now I’m NOT saying we should never enter into theological debate! If someone is confused or misled, we should speak up. BUT it comes back to motivation, purpose and desired outcome. When all I care about is winning the argument, I’m not likely to win the other person’s heart! But if I sincerely desire for them to know the truth that will set them free, I’m much more likely to get somewhere.

Will engaging with this issue be useful and profitable for everyone, including those looking on? And by this he means, will it help to further the faith of the elect and their knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness? If it won’t – avoid it!


Paul acknowledges that Titus will encounter some difficult or ‘divisive’ people in his ministry. If we link back to the verse before, there are probably many because who are the divisive people? Most likely those involved in the controversies and quarrels! Suddenly the task of dealing with divisive people looks much bigger!
If Titus doesn’t take action, and show the leaders he’s establishing in Crete how to take action as well, the divisive person will undermine, poison and thwart what they’re trying to do in the name of God. Leaving them be is not an option because more people will be sucked into the situation and the damage will spread further. Perhaps you’ve seen something like this or experienced it in some way. Painful.
So, what should we do? Paul instructs Titus to warn the divisive person once and then a second time and after that to have nothing to do with them.
The first warning is about helping them to realise what is happening and how undesirable the impact is. If they refuse to heed the warning – perhaps they feel offended at being challenged or maybe they’re in denial or stubbornly holding onto the issue – they receive a second warning. This would need to be more authoritative and urgent, emphasising why they must stop what they’re doing! After all, let’s remember that Paul is saying the things highlighted in these verses are serious threats to Christians living useful and productive lives.
Again, it comes back to motivation, purpose and desired outcome. The goal isn’t to punish, shame and expose the divisive person! From a place of love and care, not only for the divisive person but those they might influence, the goal is to get them back on track, re-aligned with God and his purposes! This makes all the difference doesn’t it?!

Next week we will see the last of Paul’s instruction to Titus and us the Church in this amazing letter.

Noticesheet for 5th May 19

Tim Stephenson,

@ Priory Street@ Rudloe, Church on the Green
9:15amEddie Larkman10amBen Fry
11:15amEddie Larkman
6pmGathered to pray

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon is the true and inspiring story of ten missionaries who, in 1956 launched ‘Operation Auca’ to share God’s love with a previously unreached stone-age tribe. This moving and inspirational story for the stage is performed by the Christian Theatre Group ‘4Front-Theatre’ in partnership with Missionary Aviation Fellowship UK.It will be at CBC for one night only on Thursday 13th June at 7.30pm, cost £7. The son of one of our church members, Chris Drake, will be performing. Please keep this date free and tell your friends. Bookings can be made by visiting

Please note the ticket cost is not for CBC to make any money, but will go to pay the actors. Please speak to Tim Stephenson if you have any payment queries.

Mission News!

Steve and Gill Bryant – Steve and Gill are leading a mission event on Sunday 12th May 4:00 – 5:30pm. The event will include tea, coffee and cakes and a range of activities including a quiz, pictures, talking about missions, and an update
on what they are involved in.

Helpers needed please – If you are able to donate cakes for this event please bring them on Sunday 12th May , either in the morning or at 4:00pm. If you are able to help set up, serve drinks and wash up after the event, please see Wendy Rowe. A team of people would make the work load easier. Thank you.

AIM North Africa – Spain Conference

Please pray for Rhiannon, Claire and Natalie who have been running the children’s work at a three day conference. They have very long days. Please pray for strength and energy.

The youngest child is two so please pray for this child and how she copes with being away from her parents. Pray for the team, for safety and good health, good relationships with the children and the conference itself.

9:15 Congregational Meeting

Please note there will be a 9:15am congregational meeting on the 6th June date to be re-arranged. This will be held in the sanctuary at 8pm.

11:15 BBQ

Please would 11:15er’s put Sunday 14th July after their service in the diary for a barbeque! Details to follow in due course!

9 JUNE 2019 – Request to pledge funds for improvements planned for 16 Arnolds Mead

As discussed at the recent church meeting, we have been aware for some time of the limitations 16 Arnolds Mead places on our youth ministry. The intention is to build a single-storey extension to the rear which will provide a reception space and to relocate the kitchen to the front, providing space for activities such as cooking and eating together. We intend to fund the works by using the money from the pledge day first and then the funds already set aside in the Designated Buildings Fund.

After the pledge day, and in light of final cost estimates, we will bring a final proposal to the July Church Meeting. If approved, we will communicate with donors giving details of when and how to fulfil the pledge, probably in September.

We request that you give prayerful consideration to this appeal. Once the work is completed, our capacity to deliver the gospel message through our Youth programme will be much improved. The Pledge Day will be on Sunday 9th June. Should you wish to pledge your financial support for this project, paper forms will be made available to be posted in a box at the back of church, and an online form will be placed on the church website, which will go directly to the Treasurer.

  • 2nd June: Pledge forms included in notice sheets
  • 9th June: Pledge day
  • 16th June: Final deadline for pledge forms to be received

Any queries, please speak to Tim Stephenson (Operations’ Manager) or Roger Hammett (Church Treasurer)

…This week…

Pledge of funds for the improvements to 16 Arnolds Mead

Tim Stephenson,
Architect's sketch of single storey extension to 16 Arnolds Mead

We intend to fund the works to improve and extend 16 Arnolds Mead by using the money already set aside in the Designated Buildings Fund, and the money raised through this Pledge Day appeal. All money donated as a result of the Pledge Day will be lodged in the Restricted Buildings Fund and will be used before the Designated Buildings Fund, solely to meet project costs.

Thank you for giving prayerful consideration to this appeal. Once the work is completed, our capacity to deliver the gospel message through our Youth programme will be much improved. Should you wish to pledge your financial support for this project, please fill the form below by 16th June 2019. Paper forms are also available from church.





Esther King, Bible study leader for this month’s study

Esther King beautifully taught and led us in the last verses of Titus; 3:9-15 this last Monday evening. She recapped from the previous studies how our motivation for what we do is different to the world’s and we have a different purpose in doing it; we should go into things looking for an outcome that glorifies God.

Bearing this in mind throughout this powerful letter, Esther asked us some reflective and important questions. Bring out your Bible and ponder:

Titus 1:1 As servants of God and followers of Jesus Christ ourselves, what are we doing to further the faith of God’s elect (those God has chosen) and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness?

Titus 2:3-5, 10b As sisters in Christ here in Corsham, are we building each other up, modelling reverent lives to each other, teaching what is good, urging each other to love our family members?
Can it be said of us that ‘in every way [we] make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive’?

Titus 2:11-14 Are we allowing, inviting, desiring God’s grace to teach us and train us in righteousness?
What are we doing whilst we ‘wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ’? Are we even particularly conscious on a day to day basis that we are waiting for Christ’s return?
Is it evident to others that we are part of ‘a people that are [God’s] very own, eager to do what is good’?

Titus 3:1-2 In light of this, what do our public lives look like? Are we ready to do whatever is good? What is our attitude towards others? Is it consistent across everyone we interact with?

Titus 3:3-8 Is our response to God’s incredible, undeserved, outrageous love, mercy and grace pouring out of us in praise, gratitude and an unquenchable desire to do good? Or have we become desensitised to the incredibleness of it? Do we need a Paul or Titus figure in our lives – a Vicky Kelly – to be stressing these things and helping us to grasp the enormity of our salvation yet again, ‘so that those who have trusted in God [that’s us] may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good’?
Could the way we live our lives be described as ‘excellent and profitable for everyone’?

Next week, we will finish with Esther’s teaching on the final verses of Titus;
We will imagine Titus and the Cretans are chomping at the bit to get started, motivation fully grasped and goal firmly in mind.

Paul is so keen for them not to fall at the first hurdle, Esther shares with us as to what his final instructions are and why it is relevant to us today in Corsham!

Going up in the world, doing new things. And going through a strange and sad few days.

Matthew Little,

So, the last month period between now and last post started (or ended, I can’t remember) with another week of night patrol. Since then, I have done another week of Night Patrol last week, actually followed by nearly a weeks time off. I’ll get to that later. Thankfully, and somewhat sadly, nothing happened. I say thankfully, because nothing happened and sadly, because, nothing happened. Ambiguity.

After I finished that week about a month ago and after two days off, I returned to my normal schedule of day shift, to be pleasantly surprised that I would be starting my fireman duty. Didn’t you already do that in Texas? That was fireFIGHTER training. As in, fighting a fire if it were to ever happen. My new fireman duty training has been working with the Fire Fighting equipment officer to pretty much ensure that all the fire fighting equipment Never would have guessed the firefighting equipment officer’s job and fire related systems on the ship is where it should be/ working/ not broken/sufficient enough to pass inspection. Here is a brief glimpse of the jobs of the duty fireman.

  • Check the fire points around the ship 
  1. Check if the hydrant isn’t leaking or rusting, which could lead to leaking.
  2. Check if the hoses aren’t broken
  3. If the fire points have spanners to couple/decouple hoses
  4. (if they have them) The fire extinguishers are… I don’t know…. fine? (all I have done with the extinguishers is give them a dust) All though, the powder extinguishers need to be picked up, to check if the powder hasn’t caked at the bottom. By turning them upside down to see if the weight shifts to the top. Thanks, gravity. If not, I can hit them with a mallet to shift the powder. Not too hard that it breaks the extinguishers, creating a huge, dusty mess.
  • Testing the fire hydrants
  1. This is actually testing whether the hydrants are working. which can be fun on a deck with no access to the outside of the ship. So you have to lay a bunch of hoses up staircases and through passage ways until you get to a door.  
  • Weekly inspection of the Fire Lockers
  1. If all the SCBA bottles have enough oxygen in them
  2. All the firefighters have the right equipment on their hooks and right things in the right pockets (gloves, torches, mask,  etc…)
  3. Testing the dead man alarms, a component of the firefighters ‘set up’ (A very loud, motion detecting, shouty box. ’nuff said)
  • Testing the fire doors
  1. Speaks for itself.
  • Fortnightly washing of the SCBA masks)
  • Testing of Smoke heat detectors
  • Checking if the EEBDs (Emergency Escape Breathing Devices) have enough oxygen.
  • Checking if the Fire Dampers over the ship will open and close properly and if they have readable, not broken, labels.
Was that brief? I have no idea, guess it depends on the person.
In terms of the work as a deck hand I have been doing as a deck hand recently, that is pretty much all I have been doing for the last month or so. Besides from night patrol, and the odd garbage removal.

‘Should they stay or should they…. move… slightly…. out the way.? or something?’

So, the port is in the middle of preparing for dredging. Which meant we we were supposed to move away from our berth for approximately a few hours. We were going to move on Easter Monday, where I would have been on the bridge on watch whilst we move, I think. After I had finished getting dressed up in my watchkeeping…shirt. With epaulets! We got an overhead announcement from our last (and just left Captain) Jon, that the moved has been postponed. Jon is a veteran Mercy Ships Captain, whom I met at the ISC during OnBoarding. As I write this, on Saturday 27th of April, We were scheduled to have the new move today. I would have been on bellbook duty. This would have meant that I would have noted down the time of shifts from ‘Full steam ahead’ and ‘full stop’ and all those in between.

One of these!

That move was cancelled yesterday. But, in preparation of that, I spent of yesterday preparing for the move by helping to secure down bins and pallets on deck 8. then, in the afternoon, I did Pest Control.

Other things that happened over the last month

  • Fought another boss in Dungeons and Dragons….. Guess what it was, I’ll give a hint, it’s in the title of the game! But, before that, the party was tasked by a druid (I disliked this druid NPC. In case you were wondering) to clear out the map of zombies and Groots (not Dutchies, Twig-blights) Or the Forest of Cheem. Now there’s an obscure reference and a half. 
  • I finally bought and started to play Skyrim. My ‘Dovahkihn’ (Don’t shout at me if that is spelled wrong you nerds. Jk. I gave it my best shot from memory, alright) is a Breton. am going down the swordsman route instead of sorcerer. I want to stab and decapitate things, OK!? And I have sided with the Stormcloaks. 
  • I had my 19th Birthday.
    A bit of a tale of disappointment with this one. I had planned to go back to Kassa for another night away with my friends like last time again. This time, I was excited to go, I had done it before, so I knew the drill, and I didn’t have any anxieties about it. I did the last time. Like the last time, we were going on the Friday evening, so I was going to wake up, on my Birthday, on an island. Sounds fun? Except, even though I was ready to go in the evening, things went wrong, from the morning. It was the day of a dive. The divers are supported by two crew members in one of the rescue boats, with the nets for the side of the ship that is not adjacent to the dock. That day, we decided that we would test one of the other rescue boats and ‘take it out for a spin’. I went in this boat. What I didn’t expect, surprisingly, was how intense the sun would be on that day. I forgot to take a bottle with me, as I lost my Mercy Ships bottle the week before. And chilly bottles don’t store much water. Long story short…. I got sunstroke, as well as a splitting headache for the rest of the day. So, then, when it was time to go to catch the ferry, I decided “I have a headache caused by the sun. Not a good idea to go out into the sun again with limited water. I’ll stay on the ship to recover.” I spent the evening in the cabin drinking water to heal myself and went to sleep. Then, in the morning, on my birthday, I was pretty much fine. So I spent my birthday on the ship. But I played some Skyrim, and after a decade, I went back to updating my collection of Doctor Who DVDs (besides from the occasional Christmas Special and ‘Day of the Doctor’ DVD between 2009 and now) as my parents (and Hannah in New Zealand got me the Complete Specials (The last David Tennant specials from The Next Doctor to The End of Time) and Series 5 through 8 boxsets. So my birthday was a bit ‘ehh this sucks’ and ‘ehh this isn’t so bad’. I also have a few classics, Including ‘The Beginning’ boxset.
I also said goodbye to a few couple over the course of a few weeks, including Elizabeth, who was a part of the ‘Star Wars marathon’ group. OnBoarding Jen returned to the States for a few months. She’ll be back though. Miss you! Georgiy, our FFE Officer from the Ukraine left. He got us all waffles (The Deck department, not the entire crew!). I had three waffles withing one morning. and how many did I pay for?  None. I didn’t steal them. So I had one from Georgiy, but he bought a couple spares. So I took one of those. That was my second one. Then, as I went to get a snack (I had a day off because I was OnCall that weekend) Esther, from Sales and the Starbucks,  beckoned me over to offer me (and some one else) the last two waffles that Lizzie, one of the British crew,who was also leaving that weekend had bought for a bunch of people. So that was my third. Then both Octavian, our former Chief Officer from Romania, and Brian from the States left on the same day a couple weeks ago. 
That almost week off… Easter on the ship is MASSIVE. I was told that Easter is just as special as Christmas on the ship, and it was. We had things going on throughout holy week. Such as, the Queen’s Lounge decorated to become the Upper Room where Jesus shared the Last Supper with the 12, and the International lounge was decorated to become the Garden of Gethsemane, with a soundtrack of night sounds for the atmosphere. Then, on Easter Sunday, there was a sunrise service on Deck 8, pastries in the cafe, another Service, then Easter lunch. It was special, except… I wanted to be alone. Mainly because I had just come off Night Patrol on Saturday morning, and my Circadian Rhythm hadn’t gone back to normal yet, and I was confused on Good Friday, because it was a ship holiday, which just felt like a Saturday, and It was hard  to get through that last night from Friday to Saturday. I wasn’t myself that weekend. I was a bit sad and a bit grouchy, but I didn’t want to take naps, because I was still trying to reset my schedule. That was also due to everyone being there. I must have mentioned this before in a previous post, that even with a crew of 400+, most of the time, the ship feels empty. Until Easter Sunday, then it was like ‘Woah. OK. Everyone is suddenly… here.’ I couldn’t cope. Luckily, the week coming…. which was the week that has just gone. I had nearly a week off to readjust. So of course, there was Saturday and Sunday off, two days. Easter Monday was a ship holiday, so it was a long weekend. I was on night shift on Good Friday, but it was a four day weekend because ship holiday. After Night Patrol, I have two days off, usually Monday and Tuesday, but this week, it was Tuesday and Wednesday. Another two days. But then, I had Thursday off (Wasn’t supposed to happen, but it’s on the schedule soo….) So, 6 days off! Then back to work for one day before the weekend. Now.
And that’s about it. Thank you for reading, see you sometime soon!





Esther King, Bible study leader for this month’s study

‘Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.’ Titus 3:14 

This coming Monday, 29 April at 7:30 in Corsham Baptist Church Hall, we will be studying the closing part of Titus. This study might seem at first glance like a series of disjointed, last-minute messages, but in them Paul gives clear, practical instructions for living productive lives powered by grace. He tells us what to avoid if our lives are to be fruitful, how to deal with people who create situations that threaten our fruitfulness and in contrast, what we must devote ourselves to in order to be fruitful. He signs off with a reminder that the key to living in this way is GOD’S GRACE- may grace be with us all!

The bible study questions are available at the churches, and more conveniently on this website. If you need a study buddy, please see Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman.

We hope to see you Monday night for study and fellowship as we grow together in Christ!

Notices Easter Sunday 21st April 2019

CBC logo notices in greyscale

Priory Street (Corsham)

            9.15am              Eddie Larkman

            11.15am             Eddie Larkman

            6:00pm             Gathered to Praise

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

            10:00am            Rob Durant

The Ark

Saturday 27th April is the next Ark. If you’re 0-7 (ish) come along with an adult for a fun children’s service which starts with craft, includes puppets, songs and Bible story and finishes with drinks and cake. How marvellous! We hope to see you at Priory Street at 10am.

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon is the true and inspiring story of ten missionaries who, in 1956, launched ‘Operation Auca’ to share God’s love with a previously unreached stone-age tribe. This moving and inspirational story for the stage brought to you by the Christian Theatre Group ‘4Front-Theatre’ in partnership with Missionary Aviation Fellowship UK is told from the perspective of Elizabeth Elliot, the wife of one of the missionaries.  It will be at CBC for one night only on Thursday 13th June at 7.30pm, cost £7.  The son of one of our church members, Chris Drake, will be performing!  Please keep this date free and watch this space for details of booking.

Women’s Bible Study

Next one takes place on Monday 29th April at 7:30pm.  New study notes at the back! Please speak to Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes if you have any questions!

An Interactive Journey into World Mission

Steve and Gill Bryant would like to involve you in considering world mission… what is it like to be in an unreached people group? Come and participate, and hear about how God is at work in Japan and elsewhere. Be updated on the summer training course taking place here at CBC in July, with participants from all over the world. Join us for tea and cakes on Sunday 12th May at Priory Street at 4pm!

… Dates…

27th April: The Ark, 10am

29th April: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

1st May: Midweek service, 2pm

4th May: Craft Group, 10am

12th May: Bryant event – world mission, 4pm

13th May: Mission team meeting, 8pm; fight night, 8pm

15th May: Midweek service, 2pm

20th May: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

25th May: The Ark, 10am

29th May: Midweek service, 2pm

1st June: Craft Group, 10am

13th June: Reckless Abandon, 7:30pm



NOTRE DAME“In the middle of the ashes, the cross remains. A powerful reminder as we contemplate Good Friday. No matter the devastation we face, no matter what is burned up, the Cross of Christ is victorious and Sunday is on its way.” Sheila Walsh



vicky kellyThese last few weeks, Victoria Kelly has been sharing with us the ingredients of our “salvation cake”…..
“So, we have our mixture of ingredients- first, our sinful selves. Second, the heart of God. Now we need to make the cake. But here is the beauty of it (because I am certainly not very good at making cakes), God provides the method, he turns the ingredients into something good!
3. The free gift – How salvation comes to us
So how are we saved? Loving kindness and mercy of God took Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins, but it is only ‘through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit’ that changes our being, that cleanses our hearts to make us new, to literally give us a new birth. It is the Holy Spirit who applies God’s saving mercy in Christ directly onto us in the event of Spiritual rebirth. It washes our hearts leaving us holy and pure, one that is fit for the indwelling of God in the form of the Holy Spirit. We are made right, we are made righteous.
The simple imagery of the water washing us like we would to get the dirt of our outward bodies, is the powerful imagery used to describe the washing of the very souls of us. This same notion is in John 3 where Jesus himself is explaining this transformation: Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’” (John 3:5-8)
The ‘rebirth’ is literally a new creation. It is an individual experience for us all. God hasn’t just repaired the brokenness, but has made us new! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus.
And look how it was given to us: ‘he poured out generously.’ Has anyone ever had a really bad shower experience? I mean, I love my shower. To get 5/10mins of alone time in the shower really is luxury, but as it has to be a quick shower before I’m needed to solve a toddler dispute, wipe a bum or provide a much needed snack that can’t wait an extra minute or two, I really need the shower to be powerful. So have you ever got into a shower, excitedly anticipate the warm embrace of the water pouring over you only to turn on the dial, but instead of the powerful stream of water you’re expecting, you get a slow, lukewarm trickle which splatters parts of your body. You’re left more cold than if there was no water at all and you’re disappointed! And if you’re like me, you’re stressed as the ‘ticking time bomb’ of children will explode at any given minute! Now, I’m pleased to say that is the complete OPPOSITE experience that our loving Heavenly Father gives titus-3-5-6-washing-cleansing-poured-outus. Praise God the renewal of the Holy Spirit is not like this. It doesn’t come in dribs and drabs, it is ‘poured out generously’. It is a full stream of renewal. So when the guilt or questions creep in, ‘Maybe that sin was just too big; I knew what I was doing when I committed this sin, but did it anyway; God can’t forgive that or renew that part of me,’ tell Satan to be quiet and get behind you as the promise of God is that we are a complete new creation. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17) That is our confidence! That is our assurance. So through the renewal and rebirth of the Holy Spirit, we become new people. New hearts. New loves. New desires. How awesome is that?”

What a poignant word as we are in the midst of holy week! The week that will forever change history, change us, and gives us a sure and certain hope! Thank you for rescuing us dear Lord through the renewal and rebirth of the Holy Spirit!