Church secretaries: you are receiving two copies of Transform with this mailing. Please pass one copy to your treasurer.
24-26 July 2009 Come and celebrate with your fellow European Baptists! www.amsterdam400.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Mission Annual Returns Ministry Faith & Unity Council Around the Union Staff News Communications Finance Legal Safeguarding Events
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Baptist Assembly 2009:
Join us at the 2009 Baptist Assembly in Bournemouth, as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of Baptist witness in Europe, and explore our identity as Christians today. Make a note of the date: Fri 1 â€“ Mon 4 May 2009 To find out more visit www.baptistassembly.org.uk The Baptist Assembly is the joint assembly of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and BMS World Mission.
Communications Baptist House PO Box 44 129 Broadway Didcot OX11 8RT telephone 01235 517718 facsimile 01235 517715 email email@example.com Registered Charity No. 1125912
Editorial heroism and boldness, in the teeth of often violent opposition.
WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE? Roots are interesting. The BBC programme “Who do you think you are?” has dug away at some famous people’s roots and revealed some amazing facts. I will never see Boris Johnson, to name but one, in the same way again! He came to life in a completely new way as I learnt that he had a Turkish great grandfather, who was a journalist and politician called, Ali Kemal. Looking back at our history is not a dry academic task, but is of direct relevance and importance to today. This year we Baptists are bound to have a look at our roots. In 1609 the first English Baptist church was founded in Amsterdam. Birthed at a time of persecution, it was a further three years before that little band of Baptists dared to return home. And so in three years’ time we have an excuse for another celebration when the first Baptist church on English soil was planted. It is important for us to examine our roots for many reasons. First of all, it is important not to lose contact with the amazing courage and vision of those early Baptists. They were treading into completely unchartered territory, using the Word of God and the voice of the Spirit as their guides. We owe them a huge debt and it would be appalling for us to forget their
But we also need to look back in order to help us to work out our identity today. I am glad that Baptists are deeply committed to working closely with other Christians. That’s the way it should be. But we will have little to contribute to that wider fellowship of God’s people unless we are clear about what we ourselves believe. Believer’s baptism lies at the heart of our life together. It expresses our commitment to personal faith in Christ, and it leads to our conviction that the church is made up of people who have individually decided to live under the Lordship of Christ. I would love to see us celebrate believer’s baptism far more than we do. You don’t have to have a service of baptism in order to preach on baptism or to celebrate the joys of our own baptisms. Baptisms are a wonderful celebration of God, and of his amazing love. I very much look forward to meeting you in Bournemouth for our Assembly when we will explore these great issues together. May the Lord encourage you and strengthen you this year as you reflect on who you are, and on what God wants you to become. Yours, in Christ, Jonathan Edwards
BUGB General Secretary
Mission Ian Bunce Head of Department
Introduction Welcome to the Mission Department. In this section we will be sharing many of the new initiatives that are happening to help you, in your church, to share your faith in word and action. We are excited about the evangelism conference that will help people to tell their stories, along with the new networks linking churches and people in similar situations.
A conference about Evangelism Have you ever struggled to talk about Jesus? Do you have a desire to share your faith but are not sure how? Are you trying to refocus the church to be more effective in its outreach? Well this event is for you. Being held from 30 June â€“ 2 July 2009 at Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church, this event is designed for everyone who has a passion to make Jesus known to his or her friends, neighbours and communities. Recent research shows that we are seeing fewer conversions to the Christian faith than fifteen years ago and certainly fewer baptisms in Baptist churches. The aim of this event is to swing this pendulum back and focus our work on making Jesus known. We will be exploring how, in the twenty-first century, we can talk about Jesus and faith in an effective and interesting way. The event will have many skilled practitioners and reflectors who will encourage us in skills as diverse as telling our story, preaching for commitment, street evangelism and the Arts in mission. The full programme is not available at the time of going to print, but soon will be. For
details of this important event please do check the website, or phone the office on 01235 517713. The Revd Kathryn Morgan Kathryn Morgan joined the Mission department as Mission Adviser in November 2008. She works alongside the Head of Department, Ian Bunce, covering a full range of missional agendas within the department. With a background in teaching and later a church planter, Kathryn brings a wealth of effective experience to complement and advance the work already being done in the department. Kathrynâ€™s ministry began in Stafford and as a student minister she was involved as a planter in Stone. Later she moved to take up pastoral charge of the Redstart congregation as part of Chard Baptist Church. Prior to joining the national staff she was a Regional Minister in the Southern Counties Baptist Association (SCBA) where she held a mission brief. Kathryn is no stranger to the Mission Department, having previously been the Moderator of the Mission Executive and worked alongside the department in developing the Consultancy programme, which is now a national initiative. Kathryn has a pioneering spirit and a passion for making Jesus known in all sorts of ways. She has also recently
been a Trustee of BMS World Mission and pioneered the Caleb Challenge within the SCBA. Kathryn is married to Peter, a Baptist minister, and they enjoy photography, music (both listening and playing), meals with friends and walking by the sea. They have one son, Jonathan, living in Birmingham. Back To Church Sunday On a wet Sunday at the end of September 2008, over 400 Baptist churches took part in inviting people to church. Despite the weather, over 5000 people responded to the invitation. Research on previous years suggests that if we give a good welcome about 25% of these will stay! So what is Back to Church Sunday? It began in Manchester a few years ago and is an initiative to help churches simply invite people to join them on a day when there will be particular care given to the welcome given and the style of service that happens. In short it is simply that you invite people you know to something you love! Christian Research recently did a project with mystery worshippers in a number of churches. Those who took part were not Christians and did not normally go to church, and afterwards they commented, ‘You have something amazing and you should be telling people about it.’ As a Union, we will again be participating in Back to Church Sunday again in 2009, on Sunday 27 September. Our hope and dream is that this year we see twice as
many churches participating with an even greater response. We have an amazing message; let’s invite people to hear it. For more information contact us on 01235 517713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Networks We aim to establish a number of themed networks for mission during 2009, which we hope will create peer support, crossfertilisation of ideas and a sense of belonging to a group that engages with similar issues and the Union. In particular they will be: Rural Town Centre Estate Churches Small Churches Church Planting Pastors of Larger Churches Evangelists Community Workers Education Multi-faith Children and Family Workers Youth Specialists Each network will have an annual day(s) or gathering (based on the successful facilitation day model) and an online registered forum and discussion group will be formed for ongoing interaction. The first day for Children and Family Workers will be held on Wednesday 4 March at Baptist House, Didcot. To register for this day, or for further information about any of the networks, please contact Carole on 01235 517713 or email mission@baptist. org.uk
Annual Returns Thank you to the 1665 churches who took the time to fill in the annual returns form last year (85% of BUGB churches) and the further fifty-nine who provided information regarding baptisms, membership and attendance, which gave us the following results. The 2002 figures are included for comparison.
Children and young people The following figures compare the number of young people in regular contact with Baptist churches in 2007 and 2002. 2007 2002 Total Number 105,212 (ave 61)
2007 (1724 returns) 2002 (1785returns)
Children up to 12 66,836 (ave 38)
Number of members reported 120,090 125,743 Number of baptisms 3,152
Teenagers from 13 – 19 32,771(ave 19) 28,640(ave 16) Young People 20-25 5,605(ave 3.25)
Ave. number of members per church 70 70 Ave. number of believers’ baptisms per church 1.8 2.2 On the first Sunday in December there were 123,331 people in Baptist churches (compared with 125,023 in 2002). It is interesting to note that there were far more female (59%) than male (41%) attendees. Nationally these figures are approximately 51% female to 49% male. These figures are illustrated on the charts shown below. Church Attendance
over 65 23%
over 65 15%
under 14 19% 14-21 7%
National Profile over 14 16% 14-21 11%
51-65 18% 22-50 40%
From these figures we could argue that as a denomination we are getting older. To address this trend, a major piece of work under the title ‘Encouraging Young Missionary Disciples’ aims to equip our churches in their ministry among children and young people. We also hope that initiatives such as Back to Church Sunday and the Evangelism Conference will both increase the number of conversions, and thereby believers’ baptisms, within the churches of the Union. Thank You We wish to thank you again for taking the trouble to fill in the annual returns. For 2008 we have retained the more simple form of questionnaire, with far fewer questions, and we hope that this is proving easier to complete. We hope to receive a high percentage return again that will enable us to continue to understand trends within the Union and inform future reports.
Ministry Paul Goodliff Head of Department
Introduction One of the roles of the Ministry Department is relating ministry to wider social trends. This month we want to highlight two important ones: Government immigration policy and discussing human sexuality. Baptists Exploring Issues of Homosexuality In 2007 Baptist Union Council gave final approval to a process that it commissioned some years earlier to provide education in the controversial issue of same-sex relationships. The working group that developed the policy produced an educational process to be delivered by trainers commissioned by the Baptist Union and nominated by the Associations. An adequate number of trainers are now ready to deliver this process in local churches and association gatherings. Therefore the time is ripe to make this resource more widely known. Early on in the deliberations of the working group it was decided not to simply produce a book or written resource, as this might too easily be misunderstood as a statement of Baptist policy on same-sex relationships. Rather, it was decided to engage with the issues through a process that delivered an educational package which could be offered to churches either over a one-day conference or over a limited number of evenings in close sequence (such as weekly for a month). The process includes reflection upon pastoral situations, information on the scientific
debate and, perhaps most importantly, looking at the Bible and attempting to let the Scriptures speak for themselves as we engage with them, enabled by the Holy Spirit. Council approved this policy and this has become a significant Baptist response to an issue that remains controversial in the wider Church. Your church may wish to engage with the process, i.e. because it faces a decision about whether to offer membership to a same-sex couple, or whether a single man who is both celibate and gay can hold office in the church as a deacon. Perhaps the minister has been approached by a same-sex couple requesting dedication for their child, or a member of the youth group has disclosed they are same-sex by orientation and want to know if this is sinful. These are just some of the issues faced by Baptists recently, and such issues warrant greater reflection on the matter. The educational process, delivered by trained and commissioned people, will assist the church in its deliberations as it agrees policy and practice. Your church may not be facing such issues now, but wants to be prepared for them for the future. Actually, it is often much easier to come to a mind as a church when not faced by decisions about actual people in the present! The process, then, will assist your church to be better informed and prepared to give a thoughtful account of the policies they would adopt. Not least in importance is the thinking required to engage in an effective way with the gay 7
Ministry and lesbian community: men and women who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. With over twenty trainers ready to offer this material, now is the time to think about the opportunity for your church to engage in some depth with the issues surrounding same-sex relationships. A contact with your Regional Minister would be a good first step, or you can contact me direct at email@example.com to request the training package for your church. I will then put you in touch with a couple of trainers and the conversation can begin. We would ask you to cover all the expenses of those trainers, and a gift to express gratitude for their hard work in delivering this material for your church would be normal. Otherwise, all this resource requires of your church is their willingness to engage and to give the time and energy to engage with this important gospel issue. Points-based Immigration Policy For most churches the following information will be of little urgency, but for a few, it will be vital. If you have, or want to have, a minister or other worker from overseas, read on! The way that visas are granted to migrant workers has changed significantly in recent months. Following a policy adopted from Australia, migrant workers, including ministers from many parts of the world overseas, now need to amass sufficient ‘points’ to qualify for a visa giving them 8
permission to work in the United Kingdom. The policy also embraces overseas students and those coming as temporary workers. These new regulations attempt to prevent illegal working, people trafficking and the propagation of violent extremism. Typically, a minister coming from any country that is not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or who is not a UK citizen, will be required to comply with the new regulations. The 70 points needed for a visa are gained in three categories: 50 points from being sponsored; 10 points from the ‘resident labour market test’ and another 10 from demonstrating ability in speaking the English language to a competent level (IELTS Certificate, Level 6). Resident Labour Market Test It must be demonstrated by the calling church that they are unable to recruit a person suitable for their pastoral needs from within the existing resident labour market. I believe that using the National Settlement System will be able to provide this evidence. For instance, if minister with both Punjabi culture and language is required for a church in an area with a large Punjabi population, the absence of any such minister on the settlement list demonstrates that the church could not recruit from the existing labour market. Sponsorship The bulk of the points come from being sponsored, and the Ministry Executive has agreed that the body which is required to become a sponsor should be the local
church that calls a migrant minister. Registration as a sponsor is relatively straightforward, we believe, and the best guide is the Border and Immigration Agency Website at http://www.ukba. homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points/ This process requires some time to correctly complete an application form, a fee of £300 and the appointment of key personnel to fill four roles, all of which may be filled by the same person. Once registration is confirmed, the church may seek a licence for its migrant worker (minister) which costs £170 and this must be in the possession of the migrant worker as they apply for a visa. This ‘certificate of sponsorship’ is no guarantee that a visa will be granted, however. The minister will need to obtain a biometric identity card and will be subject to immigration regulations. Any dependents coming with the minister will also need visas, and for all there needs to be proof of sufficient independent financial means not to be a burden on the state. The duties of the sponsoring body include a duty to inform the Border and Immigration Agency if the person sponsored or their dependents are absent for a significant period, and proper records must be kept up to date. There are severe sanctions for wilful non-compliance with these requirements, including an unlimited fine and up to two years imprisonment, because it will imply people trafficking or illegal working. The sponsors of migrant
workers must take their duties very seriously. Who is subject to these regulations? The new points-based system covers all new migrants and all those whose current visa status needs renewing, as well as those switching visa status (i.e. from student to migrant worker). Initial permission to stay will be granted for up to three years, after which further leave to remain can be sought, up to a maximum period allowed (which may change from time to time.) So, if your church has an existing migrant worker minister or other religious worker, or is seeking for one, then these regulations definitely apply to you. Support in this process can be sought from Regional Associations via the Regional Ministers, or direct from the Ministry Department. Information is available on the BUGB website at www.baptist.org.uk/ ministry. Further guidance is available in the document Sponsorship Guidance available at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/ documents/employersandsponsors/ pbsguidance/sponsorapplicationsguidance. pdf?view=Binary
Don’t Panic! The Baptist Union will help you with the problems associated with these new regulations, although we cannot pay your fees! Advice and support will be available for those churches needing to implement these new regulations, and together we shall find they will not hinder our mission or our religious freedoms. 9
Faith and Unity Graham Sparkes Head of Department
Introduction Over recent months, our Faith and Unity Department has taken on a new shape! The work of both racial justice and women’s justice has become part of our mandate, and so we are beginning to integrate these areas of concern into our wider programme of work. Commitment to justice is fundamental to the gospel message. It is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching and his actions. Justice must be core to who we are as Baptists.
‘The Journey’ The last year has been particularly exciting for the Racial Justice Working Group and for those caught up in a rapidly changing racial justice agenda within BUGB. Following Council’s statement of apology and act of prayerful commitment in response to presentations and conversations focused around the Transatlantic Slave Trade, various strands of work have begun to take new shape and have certainly been given fresh momentum. In particular, a plan of action has been developed called ‘The Journey’. Its aim is simple yet deeply challenging: to help us in developing a multicultural Baptist family.
It is not easy to predict what we will look and feel like when ‘The Journey’ is complete in about three years time. But our inability to write the future will not prevent those intimately involved in working through ‘The Journey’ from dreaming of a Union of churches, colleges and associations that looks radically different from what we have today!
‘The Journey’ will set out clear and practical steps to assist BUGB to become a culturally integrated Union that is especially conscious of the communities that feel disenfranchised, and it will seek to help in the development of ways of working that validate all cultures. We want 10 to build a family to which all can say they
There will be three phases to ‘The Journey’. There will be listening process, through which we are helped to identify the barriers that may have prevented us from reaching our potential as a multicultural community. This will be followed by a careful collating of the information that has been learned. Finally, there must be implementation, when we seek to carry through actions that will lead us towards a new future.
A Living Wage At our Assembly last year, we agreed an important resolution. It stated that: This Assembly recognises and affirms the work done by ‘Church Action on Poverty’ to overcome poverty in the UK, and in particular to highlight the need for churches to work for social justice within their own communities. In order to give authenticity and credibility to this commitment, Assembly calls upon the churches, associations and colleges in membership with the Baptist Union of Great Britain to: • Give careful consideration to
CAP’s call for churches to ensure that all their employees receive a ‘living wage’. • Ensure that all employees have a written contract of employment. • Ensure that all employees have terms and conditions that at least comply with the minimum legal requirements stipulated. • Develop and implement an equal opportunities policy. This Assembly believes that it is our duty as Christians to follow good employment practices, ensuring that all our employees are treated fairly and justly, and so enabling us to be a credible voice in campaigning for an end to poverty in the UK. The BUGB Corporation has produced an important guidelines leaflet that sets out the legal requirements regarding employment. It includes information on what a written contract might look like, and gives a suggested equal opportunities policy for use. The leaflet can be downloaded from the BUGB website. But what about our moral duty as Christians? For several years ‘Church Action on Poverty’ (CAP) has been part of a coalition campaigning for the National Minimum Wage to be based on a scientific analysis of income needed for an adequate standard of living. Our Assembly resolution calls on us to implement the aims of the campaign for people we employ – particularly those, such as cleaners and caretakers, who are often poorly paid. They should have nothing less than a living
wage. Please see the CAP website for more information on what this means and what you can do: www.church-poverty.org.uk Climate Change The earth is in crisis. Climate change is a massive threat to our future. It is a deeply disturbing reality – particularly for some of the poorest who live in the most vulnerable of places. As Christians we have a responsibility to care for the world God has created, and so we are involved in a number of initiatives to help resource and equip us for action: • A shared study resource called ‘Future Shape?’ has been developed with BMS World Mission, the BU of Scotland, and the BU of Wales. The finished version will be ready soon, and is an excellent way of opening up the key issues with the help of scripture. • The Joint Public Issues Team has been developing a theological assessment of the issues related to climate change. This report will be available soon, and will also be put into a format appropriate for church study groups to use. • Next year the world leaders will meet in Copenhagen for a crucial summit to plot a way out of climate chaos. It is vital the voices of the world’s poor are heard and we need to take action in partnership with others. Go to www.christianaid.org.uk/ ActNow/
For more information on all these initiatives, contact the Faith and Unity Department. 11
Council Faith & Unity Having taken responsibility for overseeing work on racial justice, the Faith and Unity Executive brought details of the next steps to be taken in ‘The Journey’ towards building a culturally inclusive Union. Council agreed to proceed. News was shared of the successful integration of Old Baptist Union churches into BUGB Associations, and an update given on the decisions to be made by the Independent Methodist Connexion on the future of our covenant partnership. Mission Much of what was presented by the Mission Department was many of the new initiatives and pieces of work recently begun. These included a presentation on the mapping project which places every church in the union geographically so the gaps can be identified. This is then compared with the deprivation data that helps us to strategically plan. Other projects included the 4 Candles Christmas project and an introduction to much of the work we are seeing to do under the Encouraging Missionary Disciples heading. During March’s Council we are expecting to bring substantial development of many projects for discussion. We stressed the importance of the Evangelism Conference in June- July 2009 to help us again to tell the Gospel Story. Finance and Administration The Council were advised of the Consultation in respect of the Ministers’ 12
Pension Fund, and after receiving assurances that there would be a full review of the Scheme starting in February 2009, agreed the increase in contribution rates from 1 January 2009 to 16% for employers and 8% for members. Council approved the Home Mission budget for 2009 which incorporates an appeal to the churches for £4,250,000, an increase of 6.25% over the 2008 Appeal. Ministry Points Based Immigration System Council heard that the changes in Immigration policy leading to a sponsoring of migrant workers from non-EEA/UK countries would be the responsibility of the local church. The Ministry Department and Associations would give guidance to churches seeking to become sponsors, the cost of which would be in the order of £300 to register for one Tier and the cost of each licence would be £170, to be borne by the local church. Since Council a letter has been sent regarding the points based system to all church secretaries. Bankruptcy, debt and financial impropriety Council heard that all managing trustees, including ministers, deacons and all church officers, are subject to charity law in regard to bankruptcy and individual voluntary agreements (IVAs). Council heard that work is being undertaken to assess debt levels for those candidating for ministerial training. While all fraud would continue to be treated as Conduct Unbecoming ,
requiring resignation from the Register, as would serious financial impropriety, the discretion of the Ministerial Recognition Committee would be used in all cases and for financial difficulties encountered by ministers in demanding economic times, a pastoral and caring approach would be the priority of the Ministerial Recognition Committee and the Department. Trustee Board Council were advised of the more detailed work that had been done on developing the Unionâ€™s Strategy of Encouraging Missionary Disciples and how the major areas of work were to be taken forward.
Particular attention was drawn to the number of people visiting the BUGB website. Between January and August 2008 there were over 287,000 visitors. Top pages visited include the BUC Guidelines, information About Baptists and Prayers of Intercession. These statistics give us tangible information regarding the needs and interests of visitors. In 2009 there will be further developments regarding the resources offered â€“ including podcasting and video materials.
They were informed of the outcome of a survey about the future of Assembly and concurred with proposals for it to become a three day event for a trial period of three years from 2011. Council were also informed that the Union had now completed the process of registering with the Charity Commission and agreed that in future the Annual Report would only be produced in a format that would meet the requirements of this status. Communications The Communications Committee report focused on the BUGB and some of the Association websites, the ongoing work to develop Home Mission promotion and the growth in activity relating to key events (eg Assembly, Leading Edge and Bite The Bullet.) 13
Around the Union Central Administrative contact: Stephen Copson 01462 442548
we can offer our churches. There is also much thinking and praying about church planting in Peterborough as a result of the new Hampton’s development.
We have continued ‘Encouraging Women in Ministry’ with a further two events. In October, Dorothy Selebano, BWA Women’s Department President, was the key speaker at the Ministers’ Conference. She was joined by John Smith and Kumar Rajagopalan in addressing ‘A Gospel for All Nations’. Pat Took gave penetrating and inspiring Bible Studies on ‘Signs of Glory’ in John’s Gospel.
East Midland Administrative contact: Rebecca Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Baptist People Transforming communities’ was the theme of our October Association Day led by BUGB staff. The day had input from various BUGB departments providing support and encouragement to our churches on a range of topics. In November our women ministers shared together in a day of affirmation and celebration of mission. A successful round of interviews has resulted in the formation of a new larger Safeguarding group which will greatly enhance the support 14
Eastern Administrative contact: Eleanor Reed 01371 831463 email@example.com
The Association looks ahead to a year where healthy churches on the cutting edge of mission will become a greater reality helped, at least in part, by the communal efforts of the churches acting in association. Our new Council is now made up of Task Group Leaders in 8 different areas which include Mission locally and globally, Children and Youth, Administration and Finance. Our three Regional Ministers preach and lead forums around the Association where they take the challenge of Home Mission to the churches, and where they are seeing encouraging responses. The work undertaken by both our Youth worker and by AMIGOS continue to be fruitful and we have been blessed as a region by what is happening through their ministry.
Heart of England Administrative contact: Karen Martindale0121 212 4842 firstname.lastname@example.org
HEBA’s vision to invest in the Kingdom of God through mission development grants continues to bear fruit. One church has been able to support a “family champion” who works closely with local schools. Another is embarking on a feasibility study to see how they can develop their facilities and engage more effectively with their local community. One very exciting development is the partnership with Dudley-based Saltmine Trust whose Outreach Director, Baptist Minister Revd. Jon Turner will be working half-time with HEBA churches to help them in evangelism and mission.
London Administrative contact: Paul Martin 020 7692 5592 email@example.com
The LBA team will be continuing the Strategy and Vision Tour around the Districts in the first three months of 2009, presenting the vision behind the proposed strategy for the association, ‘Making disciples – sharing the good news of Jesus’ in the context of Sunday evening worship.
Following the roadshows the board of directors will reflect on the feedback received and will finalise the strategy which will guide the association in its life over the next five years. February also sees the Pastors’ Consultation which this year takes the theme Living Together in Love. Revd Ernie Whalley of the Yorkshire Baptist Association will lead two of the sessions. The association has been encouraged by the growing attendance at the Pastors’ Consultation in recent years
North Western Administrative contact: Andrew Funnell 01942 221595 firstname.lastname@example.org
In October we held our Association Forum in Morecambe where we unpacked a little more of what it means to be a ‘Missionary Disciple’. Delegates chose from seminars entitled Missionary Disciples – Global Citizens, On Monday Morning or In Unfamiliar Places. Also, for the first time, we held a separate youth event which was thoroughly enjoyed by those attending. We also had the pleasure of welcoming Ramsey Baptist Church into Association membership. We are delighted to report the launch of Street Pastors in Ellesmere Port, Wirral, which we pray will open up new avenues of witness in that region.
Around the Union putting flowers in neglected spaces near our churches! Northern Administrative contact: David Lennox 0191 413 2205 email@example.com
The NBA received the report of an Association review at the end of 2008. Their Council is to have an away-day to consider its implications for the future life of the Association and to feed it into a development plan. This is the first such away day that the Council, who are the trustee directors, has had.
South Wales Administrative contact: Mark Thomas 02920 491366 firstname.lastname@example.org
South West Administrative contact: Chris Wooding 01392 433533 email@example.com
South Eastern Administrative contact: Steph Tidy 01444 233431 firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been continuing to focus on the development of the nine networks and they have been arranging their own celebrations each including the Association roadshow. A Network Day for representatives from each was held in October to share ideas about the future. The Fresh Horizons roadshow was held at Horsham and Ashford and also the Seniors for Christ at Upper Beeding. Plans are in hand for a Building with Bricks and People day with a Christian architect and a SEBA is Blooming Brilliant mission project 16
As we went around the room introducing ourselves at our ‘Stepping into Leadership’ session in October, we realised that virtually everyone there had never held a leadership position before. It was really great to be able to explore together some of the key facets of being a church leader, exploding some myths and, hopefully, taking away the ‘fear’ factor. We are looking forward to our Ministers’ Conference at the end of February. Main speaker Stephen Gaukroger will be exploring ‘Leadership in Exile’ through studies in Daniel, looking at the challenges facing church leaderships today.
Southern Counties Administrative contact: Keith Hawton 0238 067 9295 email@example.com
Yorkshire Administrative contact: Deborah Gamble 0113 278 4954 firstname.lastname@example.org
An exciting development in 2009 is our third Commissioned Ministry, “Evangelism - Telling the Story of Jesus”. Revd Jane Day has been appointed to work on this with us as we seek to encourage confident and sensitive evangelism through local churches. The CM will include looking at what we already know, understanding where churches are presently in the context of evangelism and providing encouragement for evangelism through the local church. We are working with Viz-a-Viz to offer training and access to the More to Life programme. This CM will form part of the YBA’s Assembly which is taking place on 13th June.
West of England Administrative contact: Geoff Starling 0117 965 8828 email@example.com
Our new website, to be launched around Christmas, will develop our role as a ‘hub’ through which churches can be resourced in a variety of ways, from ‘How not to reinvent the wheel’ where churches explain how they undertook a particular project, to a ‘WEBA shop’ which offers churches discounted stationery, books, and other supplies, and raises money for mission at the same time. We are also adapting NBA’s Springboard material to launch Fit 4 Purpose, a new three month process to help churches move forward in mission.
Staff News National Matt Corry At the end of last year we said goodbye to Matt Corry, who has gone to work for the Bible Society as their Marketing Officer. Matt has worked in the Communications Department as the New Media Administrator/Webmaster since October 2006 and we have been grateful for his expertise in this important area.
Centre in Selly Oak at the beginning of 2009. HEBA can now share the excellent facilities at IMC as well as having dedicated office space for their Regional Team. It is hoped the move will strengthen existing links and generate new initiatives as HEBA and BMS work together in mission. North Western We eagerly await the arrival of Baby Jump in March and pray for Phil, Jan, Laura and Mark during this time of change.
Robin Phillips Robin has recently joined the Finance & Administration Department as the Finance Administrator, and will be maintaining the accounts of the Baptist Union Corporation Limited, as well as assisting the Head of Department across the range the activities carried out in the Finance Office.
South West In September we welcomed Michael Emerton to the Association Office as parttime administrator. We said goodbye to our Evangelism Enabler David Morgan at the end of December, who will continue his itinerant ministry around the south west.
Yorkshire Graham Brownlee, our Regional Minister for Mission, has accepted the call to be pastor of Moortown Baptist Church in Leeds. We are grateful for all that Graham has contributed to our churches in exploring creative opportunities for mission.
Central John Smith, the BMS World Mission Area Co-ordinator (shared with EBA) has become the Senior Minister of Godmanchester Baptist Church. London In August 2008 Joyce Caddy retired as the LBAâ€™s office secretary after serving for 9 years. A new appointment was made in September when Deborah Preddie took up a position as office administrator. Heart of England An exciting partnership between the Heart of England Baptist Association and BMS World Mission will see the Association 18 Office move to the International Mission
Communications Amanda Allchorn Head of Department
Introduction Happy New Year from the BUGB Communications Dept! As you read this edition of Transform we are already busy with plans for the Baptist Assembly ‘Who do we think we are?’ in Bournemouth in May, exploring providing new online audiovisual resources, working on a strategy with Associations regarding Home Mission Promotion and developing the BUGB website – amongst other things!
BUGB Website (www.baptist.org.uk) • Average number of visits On average, the site gets a total of 35,757 visitors each month. This means nearly 430,000 visitors in an average year! • ‘Top 10 hits’ You will be interested to know what others are visiting on the website! • Top 5 most visited pages (at time of going to print) 1. Churchfinder 2. BUC Guidelines 3. Leadership and Admin resources 4. What is a Baptist? 5. Regional Associations
• Top Tips - updates Since the last edition of Transform in September we have uploaded more ‘Top Tip Guides’ for busy churches to use. Do let us know if there are any other topics we can cover regarding church communications by contacting Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org / tel number 01235 517756 These include Crisis Media, Writing a Press Release and Working with the media (newspapers/local radio). Review of the BUGB magazine and DVD Following a survey in the summer the Communications Department are making some tweaks to the frequency and content of these popular communications and resources. Thankyou if you were one of the many who responded… • BUGB Magazine From July 09 the Magazine will go from 6 editions per year to 4, issued in time for the beginning of the next quarter. We are still looking at the number of pages. It is possible we will move from 8 to 12 pages max. The June edition will also show a refresh of the design and content. • BUGB DVD In 2009 we will still produce the DVD that is timed to arrive with you around Assembly time in early May. This will now contain 4 ‘bite sized’ stories of 3-4 mins max. 75% of respondents also asked for on-line material on the BUGB website. We are exploring this now and expect to start getting more video material online in the early autumn. 19
BUGB Magazine – review of numbers sent to churches. Now we are at the end of the year, it is a good time to review the numbers of magazines you request from BUGB. Please email Phoebe at pmould@ baptist.org.uk or call 01235 517718 if you want to make alterations. Remember that the magazine is also online at the BUGB website, so you could promote this as another way of reading current and old editions & reducing paper/saving the planet at the same time! Home Mission resource update • Home Mission Money Boxes & Leaflet Rachel Tole (BUGB *Mission Grants Manager – *new name for Home Mission Grants) and I are redesigning the popular BUGB Home Mission Money Boxes- along with a small leaflet that explains in a colourful way how Home Mission enables mission. These will be ready in time for Assembly 09 in May. • Home Mission & the BUGB website Rachel and I are regularly uploading info and resources into www.baptist.org.uk/ resources > click on Home Mission and www.baptist.org.uk/homemission. Please do promote this in your church and visit it yourselves.
BUGB Communications Awards – for local churches Last year BUGB Communications launched the BUGB Web Awards to find the best Baptist Union local church website. The reaction was amazing with the thirteen websites in the final receiving hundreds of votes. In 2009 we will be cranking the awards up another level, with two photography categories added. Due to these exciting changes it will now be called the 2009 BUGB Communications Awards. For more information look out for details on the Baptist Union website and Webwatch in January.
Finance Philip Putman Head of Department Intro The Finance Office is always very busy in January preparing the accounts of the Union and the Baptist Union Corporation. This year they are also having to monitor the Pension Schemes very carefully. 2009 Stipend The Trustees have fixed the Home Mission Stipend for 2009 at £19,100. The value of a Manse for Pension Fund purposes is £5,750 per annum as from 1 January 2009. 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. 2010 Stipend The Trustees have not yet established a Guideline Stipend for 2010. Deposit rates The Baptist Union Corporation currently (from 1 March 2008) pays interest at 4.10% on money deposited by churches in the Baptist Union Loan Fund. This rate is subject to change. 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 will lend at 6.80% (from 1 March 2008) 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 rates continue at 40p per mile for the first 10,000 miles within each tax year, and 25p for each mile thereafter.
Compiled by PhilipCooke FCA.,HonoraryTaxation Adviser to the Baptist Union Here is a further selection of questions recently raised by churches and ministers, together with responses. Q. When our new minister moves to us can we pay him a tax-free round-sum allowance towards his relocation expenses? A. The answer is most definitely‘No’! An employer is permitted to reimburse specific relocation expenses up to a maximum amount of £8,000 without giving rise to any taxable benefit but such reimbursement is limited to specific qualifying expenses. These include agents’and legal expenses (including stamp duty) on the sale or acquisition of a property, the actual expense of removal, costs incurred in replacing carpets or soft furnishings not suitable for the new property, and any temporary accommodation expenses incurred pending an actual move. If the reimbursed expenses exceed £8,000, the excess will give rise to a taxable benefit which must be reported on form P11d. 21
Finance Q. My church includes on my pay slip the monthly rental payable for the lease of our property to the church but no tax or national insurance contributions are being deducted. Is this correct? A. The short answer isâ€˜yesâ€™because rental payments are not taxed under the PAYE system. But your question suggests that the rental payment may not be being dealt with as it should. If, as is usually the case, the property is jointly owned with your spouse, then the rental income (which is taxable) payable under the lease is deemed to be received by both of you in equal shares and must be included in your respective tax returns. It is recommended that the rental payments should be the subject of a separate bankerâ€™s standing order in favour of you both, and should not be confused with your stipend payments. Your respective shares of the rental income need to be shown on the UK Property pages of your tax returns, along with any deductible expenses (eg for loan interest or property maintenance costs and buildings insurance not borne by the church). Any net rental income is then charged to income tax, either directly under the self-assessment system, or possibly by way of a restriction of your PAYE coding allowances. Further guidance on how to deal with the rental income and any deductible expenses in your tax returns is contained in guidance notes on the completion of the self assessment tax return available on the BU website (document F13).
Q. Because our church financial year ends on 31st December am I right in thinking that we shall need to make a claim for Gift Aid tax relief for the period from 6th April to 31st December
2008? A. Yes - a claim for the nine month period to 31st December 2008 will be necessary as a result of the recent change in practice whereby churches are now regarded as unincorporated associations with a tax year-end which is in line with their accounting date. Subsequent claims will then coincide with the financial year-end. Churches should have received precise instructions from HMRC as to how to go about the claim. Q. Our church has appointed an individual to head up our work amongst children and young people who will, in effect, serve as pastoral assistant in relation to our young people. Can we provide housing accommodation for her without giving rise to a taxable benefit? A. The long-standing exception from charge to tax on the annual value of accommodation enjoyed by pastoral ministers of religion is extremely valuable. If it were not for this exemption, ministers would be chargeable to income tax, and churches would incur a Class 1A national insurance charge, on sums which could amount to ten thousand pounds or more each year, depending upon the particular value of a church manse. Whilst there is no statutory definition of what is a minister of religion, the Revenue have long taken the view that it is a person who has been called by and inducted to the pastoral ministry of a church and charged with all the customary responsibilities of preaching, teaching, pastoring and leading a church congregation. The Revenue have made clear that they do not regard this exemption as extending to pastoral assistants or youth workers. Everything will therefore depend upon
whether an individual has been called and inducted to the office of minister of the church, and is so recognised by the church. Where an individual has been called and inducted as a minister with special responsibility for work amongst young people then, provided such minister is seen to be an equal member of the church’s ministerial team (albeit with a senior minister exercising a leadership role), the tax exemption ought then to apply. In practice, I would suggest that a minister, like the proverbial elephant, will be easily recognised! Q. We are planning to pay our newly appointed pastoral assistant an untaxed housing allowance because we do not have any church-owned accommodation that we can provide for her. Are we in order in doing this? A. I am afraid the answer is‘No’, both for the reason set out in the answer to the previous question and also because the payment of any round-sum allowance gives rise to liability to income tax and NICs, as though it were additional salary. Even if the church were to rent accommodation (from a third party landlord) for the pastoral assistant, as opposed to paying a housing allowance, the rental would give rise to a taxable benefit since the Revenue would not regard the exemption available to ministers of religion as being available in this case. Q, Our church pays the fees and incidental costs (travelling etc) incurred by our minister in training in attending theological college two days a week in term time. Do I need to include these on his form P11d? A. The answer is again‘No’- but, this time, for the right reason! Such training is regarded as work-
related training and any such expenses incurred by an employer are specifically exempt from charge to tax. Expenses incurred by a church in relation to a minister’s sabbatical training project would likewise be exempt from tax. Q. My wife and I are about to sell a small property which we inherited some years ago and which we thought we might retire to at the conclusion of my ministry, but the opportunity has arisen for us to acquire another more suitable property. Will we be liable to capital gains tax on any gain arising from the sale of the first property? A. A person living in job-related accommodation (such as a manse) is entitled to nominate another property as his/her main residence for capital gains tax purposes with the result that any gain arising on sale is exempt from tax, even if the property may have been let in the meantime. Strictly, notice of such nomination should be given (by simple letter) within two years of any such property becoming his/her main residence but the Revenue will look kindly on a late notice if it can be shown that the taxpayer was unaware of the need to give notice within the specified time. These notes are issued for general guidance only. The author or publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss occasioned to any person 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 e-mail address is: philipjcooke@ aol.com. In order to avoid any such e-mails being treated as ‘spam’ please state ‘Church Tax Enquiry’ as the subject and also indicate the name of your church.
Linda Holder Head of Department
Introduction The Corporation team have been helping churches to prepare for Charity Registration whilst continuing with other work involving property transactions, listed buildings - and responding to a wide range of questions from churches. Charity Registration and Charity Numbers Churches with an annual income that exceeds £100,000 have now begun to register with the Charity Commission according to the timetable agreed with the Baptist Union. The first churches to register have found the process to be relatively painless! Guideline leaflets are available to help: C27 Registering as a Charity Online C28 Registering as a Charity – Postal Applications Another leaflet that will be available shortly is: C29 Churches, Charities and Incorporation. Once registered a church must include a statement about its registered charity status on public documents and cheques. The statement can be: ‘A registered charity’; ‘Registered as a charity’; ‘Registered charity number’; or ‘Registered with the Charity Commission’.
Early Years Foundation Stage – Pre-schools and Holiday Clubs Pre-schools are regulated by Ofsted and churches with pre-schools will know that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) became mandatory for all Ofsted registered settings
caring for children under the age of five from September 2008. Two new Ofsted registers were also introduced, the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register. The EYFS will not apply to most church holiday clubs since these are only required to register with Ofsted if they care for children aged under eight for more than fourteen days in any one year. However, churches do need to notify Ofsted about their holiday club at least fourteen days in advance to qualify for the exemption. Ofsted’s address is Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7LA (enquiries@ofsted. gov.uk). The EYFS only applies to pre-schools; it does not apply to toddler groups. The difference between these is that at a pre-school parents leave their children in the care of other adults, at a toddler group parents stay with their children and are responsible for supervising them. Insurance Churches need to consider the difficulties that can be caused by under insurance. Buildings must be insured for their full reinstatement value. This will often be higher for a listed building because any repairs or reinstatement will involve using authentic materials and methods, usually at higher cost. Insurance policies must also reflect additional local factors such as the need to compensate tenants for loss of earnings if they are unable to trade. The Baptist Insurance Company will be pleased to help with further guidance.
Safeguarding New Vetting and Barring Scheme
As the time for the implementation of the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) looms ever closer it is important that churches ensure they have CRB Disclosures in place for all of those people who need to hold them – workers with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Those who need to renew them this year are advised to do so before the summer. This should help to reduce the crush when all those who must be in the first phase try to get into the new scheme. We want to avoid any confusion that may arise over who is entitled to register in the opening phase and avoid problems that may be caused by a large group of applications arriving before the new systems have settled down.
We expect to receive detailed guidance from ISA and the CRB during the spring. Once this arrives we will offer regional training people a short course to deliver to all churches. There will be a relatively short time during which these briefings can be held, so ensure you don’t miss out. We received the first draft of guidance for comment at the end of October – a sign of our involvement and of things to come.
The timetabling for the implementation of the new scheme will mean that all new appointments after 12 October will have to apply for CRB Disclosures and registration under the new scheme. Those who are currently working as either paid or volunteer workers but do not hold a Disclosure will also be included in this early phase. Once the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau are satisfied that the new system is working smoothly, current holders of CRB Disclosures will be required to apply for registration. We believe this will be in phases according to the age of their Disclosure. As soon as we have further detailed information about this, we will let you know through
Currently, ISA is working on a ‘case migration’ process from the original barring lists. This programme will last for several months yet as people on the original lists may be exercising rights of appeal. An overlap will develop as new cases are being referred to ISA for consideration for barring from the start of 2009. New CRB/ISA Form The other major project that is going hand in hand with ISA implementation is the development of the new CRB/ISA form. The current forms will not be able to be used after 12 October (implementation date of ISA). Before then we will tell you what has to be done with the current forms, recommend when you stop using them and how to obtain the new forms. We hope to be able to write about this in the next edition of Transform. Clearly this is going to be difficult to manage but we will do our best to provide a seamless service for you throughout. 25
Events Baptist Churches/USA particularly on issues of prostitution and trafficking). Details of programme, speakers, registration, accommodation etc are available from the Assembly website at www.baptistassembly.org.uk. You can also register online on the website. Bournemouth International Centre 1-4 May 2009 You are warmly invited to join us in Bournemouth for the 2009 Baptist Assembly. We look forward to an excellent time together as we gather to share fellowship, learn, deliberate, worship and celebrate the 400th anniversary of Baptist Witness in Europe. Baptists in 1609 were very clear who they were and what they stood for - the fires of persecution made sure of that. Four hundred years later, the world is a very different place and its vital for us to reflect on who we are. Through inspirational teaching and worship, seminars and fellowship, we will explore what it means to live for Christ here in the UK today and how we can share the good news with a broken and divided world. Our exciting line up of speakers this year includes Kingsley Appiagyei (incoming BUGB president), Neville Callam (Baptist World Alliance General Secretary), Pat Took (Regional Minister - Team Leader, London Baptist Association), Jonathan Edwards (BUGB General Secretary) and Lauran Bethall (Global Consultant with International Ministries of the American 26
Make sure your church has appointed their delegates to the Assembly, but donâ€™t forget the Assembly is open to everyone and we encourage many to come from each church to share the experience together. Bournemouth has many small, low cost hotels which makes it ideal for churches to come together as groups for a weekend together. A promotional DVD was sent to churches in October with other promotional material. Why not use this to encourage others to come. Extra copies of all promotional material can be obtained by phoning 01235 517 621 or emailing email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you in Bournemouth in 2009.
National Leading Edge 2009 10-16 August 2009 Warwick School Leading Edge 2009 will be held 10-16 August at the Warwick School, an excellent, conveniently located and well equipped venue with lots of facilities for everyone on site and further afield. Leading Edge seeks to offer a refreshing, fun and inspiring holiday for all ages. People from around the UK - from three week old babies to those in their nineties â€“ come together for a week, to worship God, learn, play and simply have a great time. Many come as a church group, others with family and friends and others come alone.
recharge, have fellowship with others and simply find space. The popular sports and entertainment programmes cater for a range of interests and ages. For more details about Leading Edge and how to register, please see the website at www.baptist.org.uk/leadingedge www. baptist.org.uk/leadingedge > or contact the office for a booking form at leadingedge@ baptist.org.uk or on 01235 517 752.
This yearâ€™s speakers include Ruth & Ian Coffey, Fran Beckett, Mark Greene, Kingsley Appiagyei, Jonathan Edwards, David Shosanya, Dennis Pethers and many others. The Seminars, Bible Studies, Celebrations and times of prayer that are offered, seek to equip and encourage Baptists in their journey with God and their ministry & mission calling back home. Club L:edge is the place for fun, adventure, action, reflection and worship for children, with a full programme offered every morning and in the evenings for 8-10 year olds. Innovation is the action packed programme for teenagers, that keeps them busy every morning and well into the evenings. Alongside a busy programme there are also times to
Events Faith & Unity
Global Baptist Peace Conference: 9-14 February The aim of this conference is to bring together Baptists who are active in nonviolent struggles for justice and strengthen the witness of Baptist peacemakers in various global contexts. It promises to be a wonderful occasion, with over 40 different countries represented. Ask the Faith and Unity Department for more information and visit the website:
STG Ministers’ Training – Thursday 5th February 10-4pm at West Bridgford Baptist Church, Notts
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: 18-25 January 2009 Each year the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is developed by one country. Korea is the selected country for 2009 and they have based their theme on Ezekiel 37.15-28. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have adapted the material for use in Britain, and it is available for download from their website: www.ctbi.org.uk/349/. Please mark this special week in your area. Regional Central Continuing from ‘Fit4Life’, in January and February we present a new training programme across the association – ‘When Christians Disagree’, in which we’ll explore the issue of handling difference and managing conflict. 28
Association Day & AGM - Saturday 28th March, 10am -1.30pm at Kirby Muxloe Free Church, Leics. The event will include a children’s and young people’s programme and the keynote address will be led by Revd Dr John Weaver. Eastern Safe to Grow Training Days – 21st February @ Chelmsford (provisional) 28th March @ Earls Hall, Westcliff on Sea Spring Training Days (previously Forums) all from 7pm (3 in each sector) - Tuesday 10th March, Thursday 12th March, Thursday 19th March and Monday 23rd March Tentatively titled .. “Healthy Church – Supporting Leaders in the Local Church” Heart of England HEBA holds three Strategic Forums each year, attended by representatives of local churches, trustees and staff. Each one focuses on one of our three key areas for development: 1. enabling churches in mission 2. equipping ministers and church leaders 3. encouraging spiritual growth and discipleship The next Strategic Forum is on 21 March at IMC, Selly Oak.
Northern 24th January: Fresh Horizons Tour at Beacon Lough Baptist Church in Gateshead. 2nd to 4th March: NBA Ministers’ Conference at Cober Hill, Scarborough North West Saturday 10 January – ‘Help I’m a Deacon’ Training Day Monday 23 – Wednesday 25 February – Ministers Conference Saturday 28 February – Regional Resource Day Saturday 28 March – Forum & AGM South Eastern 27 January: n:vision “Unwind and Relax with a Meal” event for all youth leaders. 7.30 p.m. at Crawley Baptist Church. See www.nvision.co.uk
28 February: “Building for Growth with Bricks and People”. 10 am to 4 pm at Crawley Baptist Church. See www.seba-baptist.org.uk
South Wales Wednesday 17th January - Fresh Horizons Tour at Albany Road Baptist (Cardiff ). Bookings to be in by 8th January. Tuesday 27th January – Mainstream Wales event entitled ‘The Gospel and the Spirit’ with Bruce Collins. Suitable for all those in a leadership role. On 23rd & 24th February, 9th, 11th, 23rd &
24th March there are a series of leadership roadshows called ‘Beyond our Imagining’ These are an opportunity for a whole Diaconate or Leadership Team to consider the issues that matter. With six different venues planned, one of the dates will be somewhere near you.
South West Ministers’ Conference 23-25 February at Sidholme, Sidmouth. Main speakers: Stephen & Janet Gaukroger
Yorkshire Saturday, 21st March Re-imagining Church – connecting the generations. A day conference exploring the future of the church as an intergenerational community. This is the final event of our first Commissioned Ministry looking at connecting children and faith. Enquiries and bookings to Revd Marcus Bull - firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 28th March Roy Searle of the Northumbria Community will lead a day for leaders on Spirituality and Leadership as part of our programme for developing leadership in our YBA churches. Enquiries and bookings through the YBA office.
Events www.amsterdam400.org Copies of the
Amsterdam 400 - 24-26 July 2009
manual booking form can be obtained from email@example.com or by calling 01235 517 718. There are a number of cheaper accommodation options but these will sell out fast so be early with your bookings.
2009 provides Baptists from across Europe with the exciting opportunity to gather to worship and share fellowship together as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first Baptist church being formed. This special weekend event, to be held at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam, will include celebrations, seminars, exhibition and time to fellowship or visit the early sites of our forefathers. With a warm welcome from the Baptists of The Netherlands, there will be much to do over the weekend including a programme for children aged 12 and under. This special, once in a lifetime event, is during the 2009 UK Summer school holidays so families can take advantage of the event to take their holiday next year in The Netherlands and surrounding area, as well as join in with the celebrations. There will be people from across the EBF (European Baptist Federation) family, from Azerbaijan to Ireland, Finland to Egypt to meet with, for fellowship and to swap stories about how God is working in lives and making a difference. For more information on the event, accommodation, travel and booking, see the Amsterdam400 website: 30
â€Š 20th Baptist World Congress 28 July-1 August 2010 If you enjoyed the Baptist World Congress in Birmingham, then why not start saving to attend the next one in Honolulu, Hawaiâ€™i. Honolulu was selected as the next Congress location because of its proximity to the Asian mainland and for its excellent facilities. In some parts of Asia, the church is among the fastest growing in the world.
This is a story the global Baptist family needs to hear and experience. Honolulu offers a beautiful meeting facility in the Hawai’i Convention Center with large open gathering places to meet, and attractive meeting rooms for Bible studies, worship, and focus groups. The Hawai’i Convention Center is conveniently located near local hotels, a large shopping mall for affordable meals, and within walking distance of the Waikiki beaches. The Congress program begins on the evening of Wednesday 28 July and officially concludes noon Sunday 1 August with bible study and worship. The programme will include: • Inspirational evening plenary sessions featuring lively celebrations, excellent Bible teaching, moving testimonies, and musical contributions from our world-wide Baptist family, • Morning Community Bible studies that will break-up into smaller “Family Groups” for more in-depth discussions, • Afternoon workshops, focus groups, seminars, and fringe festivals revealing the rich, varied musical talent of the world family, • An exhibition hall introducing resources and networking of ministries, • Congress Arts Program contributing music for meditation from around the world, creative drama, art exhibition, and visual displays of human rights and religious freedom concerns, • Children’s program for all who are
under 11 years old, and • Youth track for those 12 years and older To sign up for the email newsletter or for more information, keep an eye on the Congress website at www. bwacongress2010.org Copies of the manual booking form can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01235 517 718. Women’s Leadership Conference All Baptist women are invited to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference in Honolulu, Hawai’i, 24-27 July 2010, immediately prior to the Congress. The conference, at the Sheraton Waikiki, will have the theme, “In Step with the Spirit”. Visit the BWA Women’s Department website at www.BWAWD.org for more detailed information about the program and registration.
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