THE SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY Read online at www.baptist.org.uk/transform
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Inside Transform Editorial Mission Ministry Faith & Unity Council Around the Union Staff News Communications Publications Home Mission Finance Legal and Property Issues Safeguarding Annual Returns Events
Much more than just a holiday
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THE SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY I am often interviewed. Sometimes the interview takes place in a radio studio and I am grilled by someone who fancies themselves as the next Jeremy Paxman! However, more often I am interviewed in the gentle context of a service of worship. I have discovered that there are two main questions that I am asked. The first is “What encourages you most about the Baptist Union?” and the second is “What depresses you most about the Baptist Union?” I find both questions easy to answer. Without any question the most impressive and encouraging aspect of our life together in the Baptist Union is the bubbling creativity that I find wherever I go. Whether you look at buildings, worship, evangelism, fellowship, or engagement in the community there are innumerable illustrations of new and exciting initiatives and novel ways of doing familiar things. This is exactly what you would expect from a community that is inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always in the business of transformation and creativity. This edition of Transform gives plenty of illustrations of creativity. For example, the Olympics next year will give a wide range of exciting opportunities to reach out to people with the love of God. The eyes of the world will be particularly focussed on London and the main Olympic centres – but every community will be caught up in the Olympic experience and More than Gold is giving lots of ideas for local initiatives.
At March Council a new Mission Forum has been launched which will be the main driving force for Mission in our Union. We value our partnership with other Baptist Unions in these islands and I am delighted that the Mission Forum will also include representatives from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We are all determined that this will not be a talking shop but a powerful and effective spring board for creative mission. So what depresses me most about the Baptist Union? I will tell you. I get depressed when we allow ourselves to get trapped in our own culture because this means that we lose the ability to communicate to the people who live around us who wouldn’t have any understanding of our culture. I get depressed when we assume that if we just keep doing the same old things, then revival will finally turn up. I get depressed when we opt for the comfort of our familiar ways of doing things, and resist the transforming breath of the Spirit. On balance I am more than encouraged. But we need to remember that creativity is challenging and disturbing and even in our most creative moments, there will always be the temptation to opt for the safe and uncreative option. May the wind of the Spirit of God blow through your life and fellowship.
Mission Ian Bunce Head of Department
Introduction At this time we are excited by many new initiatives and opportunities for mission. In this edition of Transform, alongside our many new resources we particularly want to encourage churches to look at how they can get involved in the Olympics next year. Please see the article below and the More Than Gold Website for more details. More Than Gold The Baptist Union alongside many other denominations is pleased to be a Global Sponsor for More Than Gold. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a unique opportunity for Christians and Christian communities in the UK to make our mark. They provide an unprecedented opportunity for service and ministry to athletes, their families, Games officials and organisers, hundreds of thousands of visitors and to millions of locals throughout the country. Under the banner of More Than Gold, churches were active in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Now the baton has been passed to the churches of the UK. We have a unique opportunity to engage with our community and to show them God’s love in action. More Than Gold was set up with the support of all the main denominations. Its role is to make sure churches are inspired, enabled and equipped to make the most of the 2012 Games. It will apply the vast experience of past games to the distinct situation of the UK.
All that More Than Gold offers churches can be clustered under three simple headings:
• Outreach – taking the good news beyond the walls of the church • Hospitality – offering a generous welcome in Jesus’ name • Service – putting the love of Christ into action Under these three headings there is a vast choice on offer; think about what you could do from the following, using resources from More Than Gold: • Children and youth – including an Olympic themed holiday club • Guest events – like a pub-style sports quiz • Sports clinics and camps – for a day or longer • Creative arts – using our own talent or that of special guests • Community festivals – with a big screen and a fun filled programme • Athletes’ family homestay – hosting family members who could not otherwise afford to be there • Hosting mission team members – hosting mission teams, mainly from overseas • Hospitality centres – offering rest, refreshment and help to visitors • Million cups of water – where crowds gather at venues and on the Torch Run • Volunteers – during the Games and during the build up • Torch Relay – welcoming and serving the entourage and spectators • Social responsibility – active on issues impacted by the Games • Homelessness, Human Trafficking and Prostitution, Fair Trade and The Environment 2011 is a great time to try things out so start to pray now about your response to these opportunities. Check the website www.morethangold.org.uk and make sure that your church has its own Gold Champion
to receive news for your church. It’s the sure way to find out what will work best and the resources on offer. Coming soon - a new Mission File with more information, available from the Baptist Union website www.baptist.org.uk
Bible Messages for Today
2011 marks 400 years of the Bible in English, and Baptists are being invited to reflect on the messages of the Bible and to put them into today’s language. We invite you to use your own experiences of God and your own observations of the world to write either: • a modern-day parable (max 150 words) • a modern-day psalm (max 300 words) • or both! For example, BUGB Vice President Chris Duffett recently saw a parable one morning before school: The Kingdom of God is like a girl who loses her Nintendo DS and frantically searches for it and when she finds it she is so happy she lets her sister play on it too. A psalm might be: O God, listen to my worries! I’m here in the north of England asking for help! There’s been no work for two years, My daughter wants to go to University And my wife is having hospital tests. Remind me that you are here with me, Let me know you care and protect me. You calmed me down when money was short before, You have thrilled me with my lovely lass,
You’ve helped me out in some tricky situations. I don’t always make out your ways God, But I know you’re good and to be trusted. I’ll go on praising you whatever happens tomorrow! As you make use of the Biblefresh resources in your church this year, encourage individuals and groups to develop these modern parables and psalms and start sending them as soon as you like and by the end of August at the latest. Please send contributions to email@example.com, giving your name, church, and age category (up to 12, 12-18, over 18). Selected contributions will be combined into a publication available later in 2011. Leading Edge Is it a bird? Is it a plane? A Bible Week? A conference? A holiday? No, it’s Leading Edge - difficult to describe in a few words but the only place to be from 2-7 August. At The Warwick School this year, our theme ‘Step out of the Traffic – Refuelling for Living’ focuses on taking time with God, being re-envisioned, re-energised and equipped to go back to our communities and make a difference. Each day will include a mixture of Bible Study, discussion, encounter opportunities and celebration, all within the usual holiday ethos. Joining us are Krish Kandiah from Evangelical Alliance, the Revd Dr Pat Took - this year’s BUGB President - and Chris Duffett, National Evangelist with The Light Project along with
Mission Revd Jonathan Edwards BUGB General Secretary. Our partner organisations Arise Ministries and Viz-A-Viz Ministries are onsite to make sure our children and young people have a great time too. Leading Edge - so much more than just a holiday. More information at www.baptist.org.uk/leadingedge Contact: Jill Mayes, Leading Edge Coordinator Tel: 07904 457715 / 01953 601779 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org missionscene … is the new name for the Mission Department newsletter, available online every two months with news of events, training and resources to help your church in mission. To receive a link to this by email as soon as it is available, please sign up on the BUGB website homepage (www. baptist.org.uk). Please note that from June 2011 notification of a new edition will only go directly to individuals and not via association offices; if you currently receive missionscene from your association, please consider signing up to receive it direct. Facebook
Did you know
that the Mission
Department has its own crossingplaces page on Facebook? Offering regular updates with the latest useful mission information, it’s a great way to keep up to date with what’s going on. Have a look at www.facebook.com/bugbcrossingplaces
Mission Files New Mission Files are produced regularly and one full of local mission ideas for Christmas, called Christmas crossingplaces is now available for forward planning! Download from www.baptist.org.uk/resources-andevents/resource-bank.html National family week and the Big Lunch Over the last two years, National Family Week has been a great celebration of family life in the UK. National Family Week 2011 will take place from Monday 30 May – Sunday 5 June and aims to be bigger and better, engaging with thousands of families nationwide. It’s a great opportunity for churches to celebrate family life in the UK and connect with families and other organisations that support them. For further information on National Family Week, see: www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk This year’s Big Lunch takes place at the end of National Family Week. Whether it’s a small intimate affair or a full-blown street party, The Big Lunch can have a huge impact on communities, and is a great crossingplaces opportunity for churches to engage with. Check out www.thebiglunch.com and encourage your church members to get involved.
Ministry Paul Goodliff Head of Department
Introduction Changes in retirement legislation, the adoption of a new grievance procedure for ministers and the implementation of a new Register of Church Workers are among the developments for ministry outlined in this edition of Transform. Retirement Age
In January of this year the Government announced their decision regarding the default retirement age of 65. Up until now it has been possible for an employer to require an employee to retire aged 65, whether they wished to continue to work or not. A small change was introduced a few years ago, enabling employees to make a request to their employer that they delay their retirement, and the employer was obliged to consider this. This was the ‘duty to consider’ regulation about which we have been writing to ministers approaching their 65th year and their church secretaries, having been advised that these regulations applied to office holders as much as to employees. These regulations have now been superseded by the changes announced earlier this year. From October 2011 it will become illegal to require an employee to retire at age 65, and this regulation already applies to office holders.
All Terms of Appointment being offered afresh to ministers now should make no reference to a retirement age of 65, and from October 2011 all ministers holding office under existing Terms of Appointment, specifying the minister will retire aged 65, will no longer be subject to that requirement. No minister will be required to automatically retire at 65 from that date. Of course, many ministers might choose to still retire at the age at which their state pension is paid, and to draw their other pension income at the same time, including any pension entitlement from the Baptist Ministers scheme, and at present this is at age 65 (although it is anticipated that this state pension age will rise over the course of this Parliament.) However, none can be required to retire then, and this creates much greater flexibility for ministers approaching the end of stipendiary ministry. Some will choose to continue, and any attempt to simply remove the minister from office against their will because they have reached that birthday should be avoided. However, since an ‘office’ of minister is always offered by a church, it is always wise to discuss openly and widely with the church, especially its diaconate, any intention to continue in ministry beyond the anticipated normal age at which people have retired. That is not to say that ministers, or any employee, can simply stay in their post until utterly incapable of fulfilling their duties by reason of infirmity or incapacity. Most will reach a mutual and amicable agreement with their church that a time has been reached when they are no longer able to adequately fulfil their responsibilities (and this might be aged 65, or 70, or indeed, 58,) but proper process
Ministry must be applied to reach that mutual decision. In order to provide a mechanism to enable churches to offer a post to a minister without the fear that the minister is virtually immoveable, the Ministry Executive is working with some urgency at providing a ‘capability measure’, so that both ministers and churches can reach agreements with a balance of rights and responsibilities on both sides. It is still by far the best practice for those ministers approaching retirement to talk openly to their church officers and Regional Ministers about when that important stage of life should be reached. Better by far to retire a little earlier than might be ideal, and to do so with grace and a sense of making a good end to stipendiary ministry while still ‘firing on all cylinders’, than to prolong ministry to the point where relationships become fractured, expectations unrealistic and the final ‘crawl’ to the finishing line be mired in controversy and frustration. Let’s remember that while the stipend might cease, and the pension ‘kicks in’, ministry is a life-long calling, and opportunities to serve Christ do not somehow magically disappear at that point but all sorts of fresh contexts for service of Christ and his church can open up.
New Member of Staff In the autumn of 2010 Yvonne Voyce left her post as Enrolment Administrator in the Ministry Department to become a full-time mum to her two daughters. She had worked for the Union, and previously for BMS, for many years, and appreciated hugely the contribution she made to the team. A hard act to follow, perhaps, but we believe we have just the person to step into those shoes. Gill Fox started in the Department in January, from a background
in University research, consultancy and more recently, tutoring, in ecology. A member at Woodstock Baptist Church, we welcome the way she brings her skills and Christian commitment to the service of our churches and ministers, alongside her commitment to family including her two young children. Register of Nationally Accredited Church Workers
The Baptist Union has long held a Register of Accredited Ministers, often referred to as the ‘Accredited List’ or the ‘Ministerial List’ (actually called The Register of Covenanted Persons Accredited for Ministry in its most recent incarnation.) In 2010 proposals were presented to Council to develop a second Register for those whose service of Christ is not ordained ministry but other forms of church work, equally valued but distinct from the work of pastoral ministry, youth specialism or evangelism that we recognise through the ‘Accredited List.’ At the November Council those proposals were adopted for implementation and during 2011 the Ministry Department will be developing the detailed processes for selection, training, enrolment and support of a range of full-time, or substantially part-time, church workers that are increasingly being employed by our churches. Initially, the roles that we shall seek to accredit are youth workers (that is, those who are not ministerial youth specialists, who will
continue to be ordained and recognised fully as ministers amongst us, but employed youth workers), children and families workers, churchbased community workers and parish nurses. At present, those who currently fulfil those roles on the staff of Baptist churches have no wider recognition than the local church, important and honourable though that recognition is. The new scheme will enable those who fulfil the criteria for accreditation by the Baptist Union to assure the wider community of their professional standards and credibility, which is often of great significance when they work on the boundaries of church and community, and thus enhance the missional character of their work. Accreditation will also help facilitate deployment, establish standards and offer support to those on this Register. For instance, in time, a church looking for a community worker or a parish nurse might seek the services of the National Settlement Team to assist its search for such an appointment, should the church congregation itself be unable to supply a suitable post holder. Other churches might have recognised the call to such service in a member of their congregation, and appointed them to the role, and accreditation will enable that person to access the support of the Union in a more direct and focussed way than might otherwise be the case. Later in the year the details of how to seek accreditation will be published in Transform and on our new website, but meanwhile your prayers for wisdom as these processes and standards are devised is valued by the Ministry Department as it implements the recommendations adopted by Council last year. Meanwhile, a major change to the ministerial register is a new name, The Register of Nationally Accredited Ministers, while much else remains the same, continuing to encompass ministers such as pastors,
chaplains, youth specialist ministers and evangelists. Grievance Procedures In 2010 Council approved the ministerial Grievance Procedure that acts as the flip-side of the Ministerial Disciplinary regulations that have long been a part of our ethos as a Union. They will assist a minister who, for instance, feels that there has been a significant failure in a duty of care by the church, and provide a process to handle that concern properly. Details will be available on the new website, and for those who wish to access it sooner, by application from the Ministry Department. Baptist Ministersâ€™ Fellowship Baptist Ministersâ€™ Fellowship is seeking someone to oversee and analyse a survey of Baptist ministers who for whatever reason are single. If you are interested, please contact Ron Day (01223 720733) or Stephen Copson (01462 442548) for more details.
Faith and Unity Graham Sparkes Head of Department
Introduction One very significant expression of our ecumenical commitment as Baptists has been our participation in the work of the Joint Public Issues Team. It is a powerful sign of common witness. It has also enabled us to engage far more effectively with the social and political agenda, enabling our shared faith convictions to be heard in the public arena. But judging by attendance at our recent conference reported below, many Baptists still find it hard to make the link between the gospel and politics. Not enough of us were there to talk, for example, with a Government Minister about how our churches might make sense of, and contribute towards, the ‘Big Society’. I hope that we will continue to strive to make connections – between the Bible and economics, personal faith and call for justice in our world, the renewing of people’s lives and the transforming of our society. Poverty of Ambition? Churches and a Politics of Hope In January, about 170 people gathered for the first Joint Public Issues Team dayconference at Carrs Lane, Birmingham. There was an atmosphere of anticipation, coupled with shared concern about the political and social pressures facing our country today, as Baptists, Methodists and URC members met to reflect on what it means to bring the hope of our faith into the political arena. The two keynote speakers were Will Hutton, distinguished journalist and author of 10
‘Them and Us: Changing Britain – Why We Need a Fair Society’, and Andrew Stunnell MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Will Hutton spoke of the lost ideological moorings of both the political left and the right, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the 2008 economic crisis. His solution is to devise a new compass based on how the majority of people reason, around a central tenet of ‘fairness’. This means sharing ‘excessive’ income more equitably. Andrew Stunnell reminded us that the Government borrows £400 million every day to plug the gap between income and spending. He claimed that the forthcoming economic cuts were non-negotiable, and went on to set out a vision for the Big Society – suggesting that this was a very ‘Free Church’ idea of how society should be organised! The afternoon began with workshops, on ‘Poverty and Inequality’, ‘Acting on Debt’, ‘Eco-regions: a model for sustainable Christian lifestyle?’, ‘Peacemaking’ and ‘How do I get my church interested in public issues?’ The final keynote address was entitled ‘Living Hope Today and Tomorrow: reflections on what it means for our churches to be committed to a politics of hope’, and was given by Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe, exhorting the participants to play their part in ‘listening and speaking out the eternal life-fulfilling message’. You can listen to the various contributions to the conference by going to: www.methodism. org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=opentogod. webradio
Baptists: An Inclusive Community? The gospel story is inclusive of the poor, the sick, the feared and the foreigner. But it is also inclusive of those who, some might argue, do not deserve to be included, such as a tax collector, a disloyal disciple, a condemned thief. ‘Grace goes the second mile so that inclusion is not only just, it is generous.’ This was just one of many profound thoughts that assisted the gracious and honest discussions that took place during a conference on inclusivity at Regent’s Park College, sponsored by the Faith and Unity Department and the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture. As Baptists we have stated that one of our core values is to be an ‘inclusive community’, and in recent days our national agenda has involved us in addressing issues of race, gender and disability in particular. Yet despite some important steps forward, many remain on the margins. The keynote address was given by Michael Taylor, who explored such issues as the boundaries to inclusion, the need for inclusive decision-making processes, and the use and abuse of power. All this was set within the context of the broad issues of inclusion that dominate the world agenda. The term ‘inclusivity’ was then unpacked through the specific lenses of sexuality and ecumenism. Each speaker acknowledging the complexities bound up with the term, and encouraged a readjustment of our views as we take into account the perspective of the other. The conference was an important example of Baptists doing theology together. Papers from the day are being
put together for a wider readership. Contact Graham Sparkes: email@example.com World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel 29 May to 4 June. Convened by the World Council of Churches, this week is an opportunity for us all to share in praying and working for a just peace in the Middle East. A leaflet has been prepared that allows us to hear different voices from the region and offers prayers for our use. For a copy, email Rosemary Kidd: firstname.lastname@example.org Close the Gap
At a time of economic crisis and severe public spending cuts, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who too often suffer most. That is why Church Action on Poverty (CAP), supported by the BUGB and other churches, is running a campaign called ‘Close the Gap’. The campaign argues that tackling inequality is a task that cannot be put off until sometime in the future, and asks that the Government take action now to make this country a fairer place to live and work. Churches and Christians everywhere are being asked to make pledges to close the gap – whether that is about giving or praying or acting. Throughout the course of the campaign CAP will provide a range of simple options, enabling us all to take part in this campaign. For more information and details as to how you and your church can be involved, go to: www.church-poverty.org.uk 11
Faith and Unity Trace the Tax
Did you know that for every $10 given in aid to the developing world, $15 slips out through tax dodging? The situation is stark and urgent. It is estimated that tax dodging costs poor countries $160 billion a year, money that should be spent building schools and hospitals. This is completely unjust and is why action is urgently needed to put a stop to such unscrupulous behaviour by multinational companies. Christian Aid is asking for greater transparency about how much profit multinational companies make – and tax they pay – in the countries that they operate in. One way to do this is to change accountancy laws to make country-bycountry tax reporting a legal requirement. Country-by-country tax reporting would mean that every company has to announce how much profit it makes, and how much tax it pays, in each country that it does business in. It would stop money being taken out of poor countries like Zambia and poured into rich tax havens such as Switzerland. $160bn is • Enough to reach the UN millennium development goals several times over • Enough to save the lives of 350,000 children aged five or under every year • Almost twice the amount poor countries receive in international aid
That is why this campaign matters and why we must support it! For more information, including how you and your church can be involved, go to: www.christianaid.org.uk/actnow/
Council Richard Nicholls General Manager
The continuing work of ministerial recognition was reported, representing much of the week by week work of the Department. Reports were also received from United Board Chaplains representing 23 Baptist ministers out of 32 serving under the United Board, which includes United Reformed, Congregational and Pentecostal denominations. Of particular note was the appointment of the Revd Jonathan Woodhouse as Chaplain General to Her Majesties Land Forces, taking up office in July this year. Other reports highlighted the work of those working as chaplains in Higher Education and Health Care. A Guide to Pastoral Practice was presented to Council and this will be made available to the wider Union and its ministers through the website soon. It is a guide to good practice for those serving as pastors in local churches, and it is commended to all who serve in that capacity. The Council was a moment of change for the way in which Mission is done within the Union. We have moved away from a committee structure to the creating of a mission forum, made up of practitioners. This is a bold move that moves the evangelism and mission agenda on. Council supported a major rethink on the way we do children’s and youth work as they supported the Encouraging Young Missionary Disciple’s paper. Another major piece of work that received support was that of interfaith, how we engage with, work alongside, and reach with the gospel, people of other faiths. The setting up of a time out scheme for people of all ages was approved and work will begin on this shortly. A major piece of work for the Faith and Unity Executive has been putting together a programme of work that will address issues of racial justice and help enable BUGB to become truly multicultural. Known as ‘The Journey’, this has involved a process of careful listening to all parts of our Baptist family, followed by careful reflection on actions now needing to be taken. The proposed programme of work was presented to Council and was agreed. Now the vital task of beginning to implement it begins! The Executive also facilitated a discussion regarding the ‘Network of Baptists Affirming Lesbian and Gay Christians’.
Council decided that the Network should not be listed in the BUGB Directory, but agreed that Faith and Unity should seek ways of making its purposes known and recognised, so enabling its ministry of care and support to be available to churches. Council received a presentation on a developing Home Mission Promotion Plan called ‘Just Imagine if’. Young people from Desford Free Church, Leicester (a Home Mission supported church) shared stories of how God is working in their lives, giving a powerful illustration of how young missionary disciples from one of our churches are growing in Christ due to the support of the wider Baptist family. Council was also informed of how the Communications Department is working closely with The Baptist Times in exploring a range of options which might enable the paper to reach a wider audience including the development of a new daily updated website. Council received the management accounts of the Union for 2010 which showed a deficit of £6,872 for the Home Mission Fund. Home Mission Grants had exceeded £2,000,000 for the first time. Following a detailed presentation and a long opportunity for questions, Council approved the proposals from the Pension Review Group and commended them to the churches as part of the statutory consultation. Council was advised that the Home Mission Stipend for 2012 would probably be fixed within a range from £19,850 to £20,000. Council agreed to recommend to Assembly that Mr Malcolm Broad be reappointed as Treasurer for the forthcoming year, and that Wilkins Kennedy be reappointed Auditors for 2011. Council was advised that the Home Mission Grants Committee intended to begin a detailed review of the processes and procedures involved in awarding Grants from Home Mission.
Around the Union Central Administrative contact: Stephen Copson 01462 442548 email@example.com
In the first part of the year, Helen Wordsworth and Geoff Colmer explored ‘Big Society: Big Mission’ in five locations across the association helping churches to consider how both to engage with the local community and to encourage discipleship. The association also continues to encourage local mission and the development of skills and experience through training and project grants.
East Midlands Administrative contact: Rebecca Nicholls 0115 981 8645
Eastern Administrative contact: Hayley Beckett 01263 826377 firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart of England Administrative contact: Karen Martindale 0121 472 4986 email@example.com
Things seem to be going well after the changes made in HEBA during 2006-07. A modest review was planned after the new Regional Ministry Team had been together for three years and this will be taking place during the summer and early autumn.
Our listening focus across the region is now complete. In reflecting, we heard God speak to us and in considering the implications of what was heard, we are beginning to develop an association mission strategy. To share a few key reflections….. • Prophetic word – we’ve lost our sense of direction, we need to regain our confidence in the Gospel and its transforming power • The need to encourage authentic discipleship rather than consumer Christianity • A focus on developing, equipping and inspiring leaders – missional leadership, the power of good news stories. 14
London Administrative contact: Paul Martin 020 7692 5592 firstname.lastname@example.org
North Western Administrative contact: Mandy Howarth 01942 221595 email@example.com
We have been delighted to welcome 11 Independent Methodist Churches into membership of the association and at the time of writing eight of these churches are
seeking membership of BUGB. We have recently held a well attended ‘Help I’m a Deacon!’ training day and have been exploring the theme of ‘Generosity and Grace’ in our Regional Resource Forum.
churches are being developed in association with Spurgeon’s College and are expected to be introduced to our nine geographical networks during the summer term. As previously, we are supporting a “church project of the year”, which for 2011 is Trafalgar Road Baptist Church, Horsham who are undertaking an exciting rebuilding scheme.
Northern Administrative enquiries: 0191 273 7641 firstname.lastname@example.org
The NBA continues to develop links with the Tryon Evergreen Baptist Association in Texas and with the Baptist Union of Lithuania. It is hoped that teams will go to Lithuania in 2010 to teach English as a foreign language, IT skills, and to help with holiday clubs. It is also hoped that a team of football enthusiasts, including an FA coach, will go to Texas to help one of the churches with a soccer skills course for Hispanic children and young people. The association will also be launching a three phase initiative aimed at developing the spiritual health of the churches and their members.
South Wales Administrative contact: Jackie Godding 02920 491366 email@example.com
The annual conference for ministers in the South Wales Baptist Association and Baptist Union of Wales was held in February in beautiful Saundersfoot. Our speaker, Revd Dr Pat Took, spoke relevantly about ministry today on the theme “Faith, hope, love – and survival”. It was a good time of interaction, fellowship and teaching as we looked afresh at our ministries through faith, hope and love. The storytelling evening gained momentum as we shared together what the Lord is doing throughout the nation of Wales.
South Eastern Administrative contact: Steph Tidy 01444 233431 firstname.lastname@example.org
A most successful conference for ministers and church leaders was held at Ashburnham Place. Speakers Nigel Wright and David Kerrigan introduced some very challenging ideas and questions leading to much discussion! ‘Enabling Courses’ for
Around the Union South West Administrative contact: Chris Wooding 01392 433533 email@example.com
We are particularly looking forward to our ‘Stepping Up’ event on 10 May – an evening for women in leadership, and women who have the potential for leadership in the future. With guest speakers Steve Finamore and Sian Murray Williams from Bristol Baptist College, over a meal together we’ll be celebrating our gifts and potential as women of God, hearing women’s stories, and encouraging one another to ‘step up’ and fully explore the possibilities God has for us. Our Association Assembly will be on Saturday 2 July at Westward Ho! Baptist Church with guest speaker Revd Dr Roger Standing from Spurgeon’s College.
Southern Counties Administrative contact: Keith Hawton 023 8041 0691 firstname.lastname@example.org
At a recent Ministerial Recognition Group, at Testwood Baptist, Southampton, we commended 3 more candidates for training. During the day we saw how the church serves the community through the ‘Hub’ Centre and Cafe. ‘Worn Again’ and ‘Read Again’ recycles clothes and books, and a Posh Frock Night Gala Meal provides an accessible celebration event. 35 newcomers are due to attend the Alpha Supper. 16
West of England Administrative contact: Geoff Starling 0117 965 8828 email@example.com
WEBA is developing the theme of Encouraging Missionary Disciples this year; this will be the focus of our 3 in 1 Events and also our new gathering for those with a specific gift or heart for evangelism, Good News People. We are also reflecting on responses to our 20:20 vision questionnaire which asked churches to imagine themselves in 10 years’ time. As part of our dream to plant 10 churches in 10 years, we are investigating a replanting opportunity in Painswick, Gloucestershire, where one of our churches closed last year.
Yorkshire Administrative contact: Deborah Gamble 0113 278 4954 firstname.lastname@example.org
In May we will be meeting together with our messengers, those who have visited YBA churches spreading the news of our Confidence strategy, to thank them and to reflect together on the next steps. The association is committed to enabling and equipping Christians in churches across Yorkshire to be confident in the good news of Jesus Christ. We recognise that this will be best achieved by working together in confident partnerships.
Staff News National Gill Fox Gill joined the Baptist Union in January as the Accreditation Administrator – turn to the Ministry section to find more information about the staff changes within the department. James Stamp James has been the Graphic Designer in the Communications Department, but has decided to develop his freelance work. It has been great to work with James over the past three years and to benefit from his many creative skills. It is hoped that he may continue to undertake certain design jobs for us, so we will still see him from time to time. Anita James Anita has recently joined the staff in the Finance and Administration Department as Finance Clerk with responsibility for the accounts of the London Baptist Association, Baptist House, Leading Edge and the two pension funds. Regional Heart of England Our Researcher John Lowe will be leaving us in May. John has worked hard `mapping’ the region – churches of all kinds, demographic information, mission opportunities etc. Although mostly office based John has also been able to meet some folk around the association and we’re grateful for all he has done. Regional Minister Barrie Smith will be taking well-earned sabbatical leave from May to July. Amongst other things Barrie is planning to look into current models of leadership in Baptist churches. He may also manage to fit in the occasional round of golf!
Southern Counties The new regional team is now up-andrunning, comprising Grenville Overton, Lynn Green, Jacky Storey, Colin Norris and Keith Hawton. To contact or for more detail, get through to the Association Office on 023 8041 0691, email@example.com South Eastern Karen Aldridge is retiring from administering the SEBA Payroll Service and her place is being taken by Iain Bottrill. West of England Our Administrator and Trust Manager, Geoff Starling will retire in August. We have been reviewing roles within the WEBA office and will be recruiting a part-time Association Manager and part-time Trust Manager to begin in the summer. Yorkshire
Following news at the end of 2010 that our Hon Treasurer, Harold Jevons, wished to step down from this important volunteer role, we are really pleased that Pete Briggs has offered to serve as Treasurer. For the first half of 2011 Pete will work alongside Harold as Assistant Treasurer; then at our Assembly & AGM on 11 June he will, subject to affirmation by the AGM delegates, become our Hon Treasurer. Pete has been linked with South Parade Baptist Church, Leeds since the 1970s and has served as a deacon and church treasurer over the years. He has been a valued member of the YBA grants group and has worked closely with the association team, visiting churches and offering advice both on the missional and financial aspects of grant applications. We know that Pete, who is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, will be a real asset to the association and its churches.
Communications Amanda Allchorn Head of Department
Introduction If you were visiting the National Resource here at Didcot and dropped into the Communications Department, you would notice that the new BUGB website is the main topic of conversation! We have lived and breathed the development of this important resource and pray that it will enable, equip and resource you more effectively in the local church. Alongside this we have been busy planning the Baptist Assembly in Blackpool, making short films, reviewing the BUGB Archives held at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, planning an exciting Home Mission Promotion Project and much, much more! New BUGB website launched!
At last the brand new BUGB website has been launched after 9 months in development. My team and I hope and pray that as a local church leader when you gone online you will feel you belong to a bigger Baptist community. This is only Phase 1... we have much more planned for you in the future!
Major new features include: Home Page • Channels – dedicated areas designed to help you find role specific resources and information quickly • ‘Area specific live tabs’ eg Mission, Finance & Legal – these take you to each major area’s Home Page. These then reveal a huge range of resources and information available – or signpost you to another relevant site. • Resources and news items – easier to find • Events – now with online registration and payment. Previously we provided a booking form to download, which people had to manually fill in and post with payment. Now everything is being done online as Mission have got rid of pdf booking form and want people to register online only! • Navigation – more robust navigation and search features (Amen!) • Font size – for those with visual impairments, this new feature enables the user to enlarge the font Publications • New Online Store – with shopping cart and direct online payment via PayPal • Resources – better described and more easily identifiable Phase 2 of the BUGB website development is already under way...so watch this space for news of more resources and features in the future!
Publications BUGB Online Store Preparing for Change! After the launch of the new BUGB website this spring, we plan to unveil our new BUGB Online Store in the summer!
2011 Directory The new look Baptist Union of Great Britain Directory is now available. The price has been kept at ÂŁ15.50
The aim of the new store is to provide you with a quick and easy system to select, order and pay for your books directly online. Online payment will mean a quicker turnaround time for processing your Publications orders and therefore an improved service to customers. It will also eliminate the need for you to phone, email, or write in to Publications with your order. And if you pay directly online, confirmation of your order will be emailed to you. You can then pass the details onto the church treasurer so that you can be reimbursed for books bought on behalf of your church!! Anyone wanting to pay by cheque will also need to use the BUGB Online Store. You will be able to select and order your books by choosing the option to raise a Purchase Order. The Purchase Order will display the details of your order, including postage costs, and also provide instructions on how to pay. Simply print out the Purchase Order, return it to us with your cheque, and once payment has been received your books will then be despatched. Other features of the new store include the display of stock quantities, and status updates sent by email to customers who pay online. So as we prepare to unveil the new BUGB Online Store, we hope you will also be preparing yourselves for these up-andcoming changes. In the meantime, thank you for continuing to place your orders with us via www.baptiststore.co.uk
Home Mission New BUGB website!
You will have seen on the Communications page that the new BUGB website has been launched. One of our aims is to ensure that you can find important information more easily within this area. Resources in the Home Mission area of the website will be growing over the next few years as we develop new initiatives. As a local church leader you have a unique role to play in bringing the Home Mission story alive to your congregation. Please do look out for news and updates in Transform and on the website.
The 2011 BUGB DVD: Be the Centre â€“ crossingplaces in action Enclosed with this issue of Transform is the 2011 BUGB DVD: Be the Centre â€“ crossingplaces in action. The main story is about Finchamstead Baptist Church in Berkshire whose desire to be at the heart of their village led to the creation of a new building used every day by the church and the local community. It is a story of local church members, their faith, prayers and sacrificial giving. With help from Home Mission and the Baptist Family they have created a building to expand their mission, creating crossingplaces between the church and community. Also on the DVD are two Top Ten Tips guides: one on planning a building project and one on welcoming visitors to church, a new film about the crossingplaces initiative, and three Home Mission videos previously only available on YouTube.
Take a look at our
Annual Review 2010 now available online at
Finance Philip Putman Head of Department
Introduction The Finance Office staff are now close to the end of the 2010 accounts year end process and are continuing to receive donations from individuals and churches towards the Home Mission Appeal for 2011. We are pleased to report an increase in giving during 2010 which enables so much of the work of the Union, associations and churches to take place around the country. Thank you for your continued support. The Finance Office staff are ready to assist churches and ministers with many topics ranging from loans and gift aid to pensions and deposits. Taxation queries are often forwarded to the Honorary Taxation Advisor, Philip Cooke, and many of the frequently asked questions appear in this, and every issue of Transform. 2011 Stipend The Trustees have fixed the Home Mission Stipend for 2011 at £19,650, an increase of 1.55% on the 2010 Stipend. The Trustees took into account various factors including the current inflation factors such as RPI and CPI, together with average wage settlements in the UK and of course the economic climate. Treasurers should also note that the value of a Manse for Pension Fund purposes is £5,915 per annum as from 1 January 2011. This increases the amounts that churches and ministers pay as pension scheme contributions, and significantly increases the benefits which will be received in due course from the fund.
Deposit rates The Baptist Union Corporation currently (from 1 November 2009) pays interest at 0.80% on money deposited by churches in the Baptist Union Loan Fund. The current rate is advertised each week in The Baptist Times. The deposits assist the provision of loans to churches, and are welcomed by the Corporation. Loan rates The Baptist Union Corporation is willing to lend at 3.50% (from 1 November 2009) to churches buying, extending or renovating buildings or manses, subject to suitable repayment arrangements being in place. This rate is also subject to change in line with national interest rates. The current rate is advertised each week in The Baptist Times. Mileage rates The recommended mileage rate went up to 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles within each tax year with effect from 6 April 2011 following an announcement in the Government’s budget. The secondary rate of 25p for each mile thereafter remains unchanged. Charity Numbers Many churches assume that as they are in membership of the Baptist Union they are able to use the registered charity numbers for the Baptist Union Corporation and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. This is not the case. Churches that are regarded as ‘excepted charities’ under section 3(5) of the Charities Act 1993, as amended by the Charities Act 2006 do not have a charity number at all, and should quote the Charities Act reference above. 21
Finance Those churches that have registered due to their level of income should quote the number issued to them by the Charity Commission. Pension Fund The Union is continuing to review the Baptist Ministers Pension Fund and the Baptist Union Staff Pension Scheme and statutory consultation papers should have been sent out to ministers and church treasurers for their feedback regarding the new pension proposals from 1 January 2012. If you have not already responded, please do so by the deadline of 31 May 2011.
Compiled by Philip Cooke FCA., Honorary Taxation Adviser to the Baptist Union
Churches and corporation tax returns: As explained in section 12 of the Taxation Guidance Notes for Churches & Ministers (document F5 on the BUGB website) most sources of income and capital gains received by churches and other charities are exempt from tax. However, as the Guidance Notes state, a church may be in receipt of some income, typically trading income, which may not fall within the stated exemptions and in such cases it could be liable to corporation tax. Baptist churches, like most other charities, are regarded as unincorporated associations and are treated like companies for taxation purposes.
Corporation tax returns have not been issued to churches on a regular basis (except in the rare situation where there is an established source of taxable income) but they have
been issued by HMRC on a random basis with a view to monitoring the situation, and a number of churches have received a form CT600 for completion in recent years. The Taxation Guidance Notes briefly explain what is required in these circumstances. However, as from 1 April 2011 any such returns relating to accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010 now have to be filed online. Paper returns will no longer be issued but will be replaced by a ‘Notice’ requiring the completion of such a return online. This all sounds rather forbidding, but it need not be! [Sorry if that sounds a bit like the Revenue phrase “Tax need not be taxing”!] To file a return online a church will first need to be registered with HMRC for online filing, but if it is already registered for online filing of PAYE annual returns etc further registration will not be necessary and one will simply need to add the corporation tax filing facility as an additional service in the box which appears on the HMRC screen. The Revenue software for online filing will mirror the existing form of return, including the supplementary form CT600E which also has to be completed by charities. It will also be necessary to attach a copy of the church accounts for the relevant accounting period and HMRC has stated that it will accept a copy in PDF format instead of the more complex iXBRL format which applies to companies generally. HMRC has also confirmed that it does not intend to change its existing practice of requesting returns on a random basis, except that if a church is knowingly in receipt of any taxable income it has a statutory duty to file a return within the prescribed time limit of twelve months of the end of the relevant accounting period.
The following HMRC publications (with website links) give more detailed guidance and I also plan to update the paragraphs in the Taxation Guidelines document (F5) to take account of this change. • Switching from paper to online company tax returns www.hmrc.gov.uk/ct/ct-online/file-return/ switching.htm • Company tax returns for smaller charities www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities Ministers’ Self Assessment tax returns filed online: I gather that more than 80 ministers took advantage of the facility to file their 200910 tax returns online using the Keytime software referred to in earlier issues of Transform and it is probable that many more will make use of this facility for the tax year just ended. As far as I can tell the software was well received and worked satisfactorily, though there was one glitch affecting the MoR pages which needed to be put right with an update. If anyone would care to comment on their experiences (favourable or otherwise) I would be interested to hear from them. For the benefit of those ministers who missed the earlier announcement, the Keytime website is: www.keytime.co.uk/ ministers. I have not yet been advised of any change to last year’s very reasonable charge of around £5 (including VAT) but I would think that any increase will be minimal. Gift Aid Relief: Sadly, the 2% transitional supplement which charities have received since the basic rate of income tax was reduced to 20% is scheduled to come to an end at 5 April 2011 but it has been a most welcome boost to Gift Aid relief in the meantime.
Income from letting of church premises: From enquiries which I have received some churches are obviously unaware that income received from the letting of church premises (including manses) is regarded as non-taxable investment income, except in rare situations where additional services (eg management, personnel, catering, visual/ audio hire etc) are provided and the income takes on a ‘trading’ characteristic. Even then such income may be within the various exemptions mentioned in section 12 of the Taxation Guidance Notes referred to earlier. Lease to church of minister-owned property for use as a manse: Where a church does not have its own manse, or where additional ministers are appointed, it may be necessary to take a lease of property owned by the minister to enable the church to provide manse accommodation in accordance with the minister’s terms of appointment. Provided such lease is the subject of a valid agreement then the normal exemption from income tax on the annual value of a manse provided by the church for the better performance of a minister’s duties should apply, though the net rental income (after deduction of any allowable expenses) will, of course, be taxable in the hands of the minister, or minister and spouse if the property is jointly owned. Section 1 of the Taxation Guidance Notes contains further information and additional notes on this kind of leasing arrangement are also available upon request. One of the requirements for meeting the test of whether a property serves as a manse is that it should be situated in ‘reasonable proximity’ to the church and I am often asked what is meant by this term. Whilst it is now unusual for a manse to be located next door to a church,
Finance it should at least be within the community served by the church. Another important point which needs to be borne in mind is that the consent of any mortgage lender should be sought before entering into a lease since this will usually be a condition for the making of a loan. Consent is normally forthcoming, especially if the lease agreement contains a clause protecting the rights of the lender. Mileage allowance: These notes were prepared several weeks prior to the Budget and it remains to be seen whether the approved rates of allowance will be increased for the first time since the new mileage allowance regime was introduced in April 2002. What is clear is that the overall costs of motoring are now greatly in excess of 40p per mile, though whether the Government will permit an increase at this particular time is highly questionable. A church which is not a Home Mission Fund aided church is, of course, at liberty to pay a higher rate of mileage allowance but any excess over the Revenue approved rates will trigger a taxable benefit which will need to be disclosed on form P11D at Section E. This benefit does not give rise to a Class 1A NIC charge.
Finally, a few timely reminders: 1. The ‘official’ rate of interest for the purpose of computing the taxable benefit arising from any interest-free or ‘beneficial’ (ie at a lower rate of interest) loan made by an employer was reduced to 4% from 6 April 2010. 2. A minister who needs to provide a computer or related equipment for churchbusiness purposes can obtain tax relief
on the full cost in the year of purchase by virtue of an investment allowance under the capital allowances regime. Some restriction might be necessary if there is also personal use. 3. Don’t forget that the annual PAYE return (Form P35 etc) must now be filed online not later than 19 May and, because of the online requirement, a paper return will not be issued. The only reminder by HMRC takes the form of an on-screen ‘Notice’ that a return is due. These notes are issued for general guidance only. The author or publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss occasioned to any persons acting or refraining from action as a result of material contained herein. If you are in any doubt about the correct treatment of any matter you should seek further professional advice. I am prepared to respond to questions of a general nature and my email address is: philipjcooke@aol. com. In order to avoid emails being treated as ’spam’ please state under ‘Subject’ the name of your church plus the words ‘Church tax enquiry’.
Legal and Property Issues Linda Holder Manager of the Baptist Union Corporation Introduction We think the many people in Baptist churches who ensure that the administration, legal issues, and practical arrangements are managed well are just great. We know this because we speak to you and receive your letters and emails. The church is often referred to as a body, with each different part being important. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus (Ephesians 1.15-16) he said that after hearing what they were doing he gave thanks to God- so do we! Financial Planning Several churches have contacted us with concerns about their financial situation, especially about the long term impact of expenditure exceeding income and the possibility of charity trustees incurring personal liability if the church falls into debt. We would always encourage churches to be realistic in their budgeting and to take appropriate action well before serious financial difficulties become a reality. You may find the BUC guideline leaflet F9 Charity Reserves helpful: www.baptist.org.uk/finance-pensions-andloans/financial-guidance/budgeting.html Charitable Incorporated Organisations The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) will be a new form of corporate structure designed specifically for charities. The latest indications are that the new structure will be available from late spring. However the Charity Commission, which is facing significant budget cuts, will need to phase in their implementation and it is likely that there will be a further delay for existing organisations wanting to convert to CIO status. We will let you know when further details are available.
Abolition of the Default Retirement Age Employees Churches should note that the default retirement age of 65 will be abolished from 1 October. The last date on which employers were able to give their staff notice of retirement was 6 April. Unless notice was given before 6 April all employees now have a legal right to work beyond the age of 65 if they wish to do so unless an organisation can â€˜objectively justifyâ€™ the need for a predetermined retirement age. This is only likely to apply to jobs which need a high degree of physical ability. Ministry Department have also prepared a longer note for churches and ministers, please also read page 7. Managing Employee Performance Employers should be managing the performance of their staff whatever their age. Now that the default retirement age has been abolished this applies equally to younger staff and to those over the age of 65. ACAS have published new guidance to help employers which can be found at: www.acas.org.uk/performance. Where informal approaches fail, you may decide to take more formal action which could eventually result in dismissal if employees fail to make the necessary improvement. If this is the case you must follow your churchâ€™s disciplinary procedure (or your capability procedure if you have one). These procedures should take account of the advice given in the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The procedures provided as annexes to the C12 Employment leaflet already comply with this advice: www.baptist.org.uk/legal-property-acharities/legal.html
Legal and Property Issues Support for Legal Issues The Baptist Union Corporation offers help with any legal queries that churches might have. We have extensive experience of the kind of practical and legal issues that can arise for churches and have written a range of guideline leaflets to help. These can be found on the BUGB website. The BUC can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Land Registration Since April 2006 the Baptist Union Corporation has been helping churches in trust with the BUC by registering church property with the Land Registry. We have registered more than 1500 chapels, manses and other land or properties. In most cases this service has been provided free of charge to the church because the Corporation has paid the Land Registry fees. This has saved money for local churches who would otherwise have needed to employ solicitors, and pay the Land Registry fees themselves. We acknowledge with thanks the help provided by local contacts in our churches who have sent us plans, photographs or other essential information. We are still dealing with a few remaining cases where there are queries. We are sure that the new plans and title documents will help avoid misunderstandings and boundary problems in future. If your church is in trust with the BUC, and you are uncertain if all your church land has been registered, please contact us.
Some Baptist churches have private individuals who serve as Holding Trustees for church property. This property may not be registered with the Land Registry, especially if the church has used the same site and building for a very long time. The local church and the Holding Trustees should consider whether they need to voluntarily register their property. Please refer to our leaflet C21 Churches and Land Registration for a more detailed explanation. www.baptist.org.uk/legal-property-acharities/property/church-buildings. html?start=10
Safeguarding Alan Elson Safeguarding Administrator
A new email account has been set up. Please start to use this email to contact the Baptist Union on safeguarding issues. The new address is email@example.com From 6 April CRB fees for Enhanced Disclosures will go up to £44; for Standard Disclosures the new fee will be £26. Please continue to make cheques payable to CAS. The CRB have announced that they are speeding up the searches that the police undertake as part of the Enhanced level checks. This will be done by making more precisely targeted searches; this will reduce the perception of unnecessary intrusion into private lives. It will not affect the searches related to people who work from home as the continuation of address based searching remains of high priority. It is unlikely that churches will notice a difference in the quality of information they receive – only in turnaround time. Last year we told churches that the old style CRB application forms must be destroyed as the new ones came into use. There still seem to be many churches who are trying to use these old forms. If you have any in stock, please destroy them now. The new ones have a pink cover and have yellow highlighted sections. If you use the Churches Agency for Safeguarding to process your applications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for new stock. Some of the Regional Associations may also hold stocks that you can draw upon. Please note that on the volunteer and paid workers recruitment forms (Forms 4 & 5) that are published in Safe To Grow we are currently asking about the applicant’s health. This is no longer a permitted
question. We will shortly change the forms in the resources section on the BUGB website and in the new edition of Safe To Grow. In February the government published the reviews of the Criminal Records Bureau and the Vetting and Barring Scheme. One of the main recommendations of the reviews is that the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Criminal Records Bureau will be merged. Other changes that are proposed do not appear to dramatically change the present position; we are still trying to understand the full implications of these proposals and will need to study the legislation and its guidance as soon as this becomes available. The main recommendations from the review are: • There will be restrictions on the number of posts where checks will be required by law. These will be restricted to those who work most closely with children and vulnerable adults • Criminal records will be transferred between jobs • The registration requirements in the original legislation are to be abolished, the need for continuous monitoring by the ISA will also be halted • There will be penalties for those who knowingly request Disclosures to which they are not entitled However there remains the obligation to report to ISA those who have been disciplined or who leave their work before discipline is completed where the cause for discipline relates to instances of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Further details will be published when the legislation becomes available. Any changes will not come into effect before 2012. 27
Annual Returns Rachel Tole Grants and Database Manager Introduction Every year we ask churches to complete an Annual Return Form. As well as helping to ensure we have the most up-to-date contact details, this form also enables us to collect various statistics. Attendance Figures – 2010 results For many years we asked churches to let us know how many people were present at their main worship service on the first Sunday in December. This changed in 2009 when we altered the date the forms were sent out. In 2010 we also changed the question to ask churches to complete a table showing their ‘current average attendance at Sunday worship’ in five age-groups. 1733 churches returned their 2010 form and from the information supplied we can see that the average attendance at Sunday worship is currently 81 which means that there are at least 168,000 people attending Baptist churches each Sunday. Whilst this is a significant increase on the figures for 2008 it is partly due to the change in the way the data is collected. The highest attendance figure submitted was 1100 and the lowest just 3! Overall about 7% of our churches have congregations of 200 or more but there are around 60 churches (3%) that regularly have single-figure congregations.
Children and young people This year’s returns show that the average number of children attending Sunday worship is 11 indicating that around 22,650 children will be attending worship in one of our churches each Sunday. Whilst 16% of churches have no children attending on a Sunday, around 250 churches will have more than 25 children.
In terms of young people (11-18s) the figures are lower with the average number attending being just 7. However this still means we will have nearly 14,000 young people attending worship in our churches each week. Whilst around 1 in 5 churches have no young people at all on a Sunday, around 180 of our churches will have more than 20 young people. In rough terms, ¼ of those worshipping in Baptist Churches are children or young people. The forms also show, however, that our churches are in regular contact with over 117,000 children and young people through a variety of activities through the week. Play your part in next year’s statistics. If you are a church secretary then you will receive the 2011 Annual Return Form before your next edition of Transform. Please do all you can to complete it fully and return it by the closing date. You may find it easier to use our online system and details of how to do this will be included with the form. These will also be on the website by September.
Mission Love Your Local School Day 14 May: The Abbey Centre, Northampton A day for churches to develop effective links with their local school. In partnership with: Breathe, REinspired, Spinnaker Trust and Youth for Christ. Cost: £20 per person, including lunch National Family Week 30 May - 5 June A celebration of family life and a great opportunity for churches to get involved. www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk The Big Lunch 5 June: An initiative of the Eden Project, The Big Lunch can have a huge impact on communities, and is a great crossingplaces opportunity for churches. www.thebiglunch.com Inner City and Estate Churches Day 15 June: Shekinah Christian Centre, nr Burnley. Speaker: Erica Dunmow, Urban Mission. Hosted by: Kathryn Morgan, Mission Adviser. Cost: £15 per person, including lunch. The Big Welcome 25 September: Back to Church Sunday. Again this year resources are available from the Baptist Union to help churches to offer a Big Welcome to those who are invited to your services and events. For details, see the mailing sent to all churches or www.baptist.org.uk/b2cs
For more information about any of the events being run by the Mission Department, and to book, see www.baptist.org.uk/resources-andevents/mission-events.html or contact the Mission Department on email@example.com. uk or 01235 517713
Please book early
Please book your place at Mission Department events as early as possible. This helps us with our planning, prevents us from making unnecessary cancellations, and saves the Union from incurring last minute expenses. We appreciate your help and look forward to receiving your bookings! Please note - some venues have limited space, and places may fill up before the closing date listed.
Regional Central 14 May: ‘Love Your Local School’ at The Abbey Centre, Northampton. The association jointly sponsors this oneday session with the Mission Department of the Baptist Union. 18 June: CBA Assembly with the Revd Dr Pat Took, President of the Baptist Union, meets at Loughton Baptist Church, Milton Keynes. Eastern Baptist 28 May: the last Baptist Caravan Fellowship rally takes place at Gamlingay. 4 June: EBA Annual Assembly, Norwich Central Baptist Church. Entitled the ‘Changing face of Church in today’s world’ the Assembly’s guest speaker will be Revd Dr Pat Took. May & June: The association will be holding some listening forums, following on from their association wide questionnaire.
Events Heart of England 14 May: `Equipped to Lead’ in Aston is currently being planned by North Birmingham Project Worker Gale Richards. 26 May: Leaders’ Quiet Day in Warwick, led by Pat Took. 4 June: Leaders’ Day with Kate Coleman, looking particularly at ways of encouraging women in church leadership. May and June: `Developing Preaching Skills’ module of the Learning at the Centre training programme, with Paul Campion from Shirley Baptist Church and others. Worcestershire Group events: 1 April: Regional Ministers will be joining the Worcestershire Group for their Palm Sunday Celebration 19 May: Conversation evening for Coventry & Warwickshire (Bedworth) 22 May: Herefordshire Group Celebration (Hereford) 8 June: Conversation evening for Shropshire (Shrewsbury?) 3 July: South Birmingham Group Celebration (Shirley) Northern 1-4 April: Awareness visit from Texan Baptists. 4 April: Preach the Word, Durham (preacher training event). 14 May: Spring Assembly at Kings Academy, Middlesbrough. Keynote speaker will be Revd Dr Pat Took. 3-12 June: NBA soccer skills mission team in Texas. 4 July: NBA Council, Durham 6-14 August: Mission teams from Texas working in NBA churches.
North Western April: we’re delighted to be hosting our annual Easter Reflections one of which will be a walked retreat at Hawkshead Hill Baptist Chapel. May: our association hosts the Baptist Assembly which we’re sure will be a wonderful time exploring the theme, ‘Your Kingdom Come’. June: a busy month with the Inner City and Estate Churches Day, ‘The Key’ youth and children’s workers course, and Regional Men’s Day in Southport. South Eastern 25 May: Theological Reflection Day for Newly Accredited Ministers with Ian Coffey. Details from Paul Kerley on firstname.lastname@example.org South Wales 7 June: Mainstream Wales - the next event takes place in South Wales. 17-18 June: Momentum - moving forward in Christ. The Baptist Assembly in Wales will be held in Carmarthen. The South Wales Baptist Association are part of this Assembly together with the Baptist Union of Wales and BMS World Mission. This is a gathering of Christians from across Wales, to worship, fellowship and share the Word with one another. More information is available on the website: www.baptistassemblyinwales.org. South West 10 May: Stepping Up – an evening for women in leadership and women who have the potential for leadership in the future. Starts 18:15 at the Dartbridge Inn, Buckfastleigh. 2 July: Association Assembly – the annual gathering for our South West churches at Westward Ho! Baptist Church, North Devon.
Southern Counties 21 May: Treasurers’ Training Day with BUGB Treasurer Malcolm Broad. 9 June: Human Sexuality Training Day with BUGB Head of Ministry Paul Goodliff. West of England There are 4 WEBA 3 in 1 Events this year: 20 March: Counterslip BC, Bristol 10 April: Bethesda BC, Trowbridge 15 May: Brunswick BC, Gloucester 19 June: Clarence Park BC, Weston-superMare 7 June: Our AGM will be held separately this year. Yorkshire 9 April: Caring for our Created World at the Blackley Centre. 14 May & 2 July: Growing Women Leaders continues. Encouraging women to fulfil their God given potential, at Blenheim BC, Leeds. 11 June: Breakthrough – Assembly & AGM at South Parade BC, Leeds. Guest speaker Revd Dr Pat Took. 14 June: Caring for People with Dementia at the Blackley Centre. For enquiries, bookings and other event news, refer to www.yba.org.uk or call the office on 0113 278 4954.
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Resource booklet for Baptist ministers, treasurers and secretaries