A PEOPLE OF HOPE
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Editorial soldier he met. Moltmann contends that Christian hope does not involve a withdrawal from the world in the hope that a better hope will somehow evolve, but an active participation in the world in order to aid in the coming of that better world.
A PEOPLE OF HOPE These are incredibly challenging times. Recent months have seen appalling outbreaks of violence in many parts of the world and the fearful economic problems donâ€™t show any signs of releasing their grip. In the light of our own financial difficulties the Baptist Union has recently been forced to take some very painful decisions and many lives will be radically changed, including my own. In the face of all this, the language of hope might sound like a sick joke. But as a Gospel people we are, by definition, a people of hope. The Good News of Jesus Christ is a declaration that God can miraculously bring his hope to every situation, however bleak. Jurgen Moltmann is known as one of the leading proponents of the theology of hope. Interestingly Moltmann, who is now in his 80s, joined the German army in 1944 and was sent to the Belgian forest where, in 1945, he surrendered to the first British
Moltmann believes that Christian hope should be the central motivating factor in the life and thought of the church and of every Christian. When life is going smoothly this would seem obvious enough, but amidst the gritty reality of todayâ€™s challenges, it looks like a major challenge. In point of fact it is much greater than that. It is a human impossibility. No amount of human energy and positive thinking can win through. The only way in which we can find such hope is through the miraculous intervention of God. As we serve God in this New Year let us reaffirm our confidence in him as the God of hope and allow his miraculous presence to transform our understanding of the future. God calls us to work with him to bring his hope to a world that has become jaded and cynical. His hope is never imposed on us but constantly offered to us. Let us go forward with a determination to embrace that hope and to live in the light of it.
Jonathan Edwards BUGB General Secretary 3
Mission Ian Bunce Head of Department
Introduction The Mission Department has been creating some great new resources to equip you in your local church. Alongside the mission initiatives we have been doing work in diverse areas including inter faith engagement and how we disciple children and young people. Today… not tomorrow Recently we have been investigating the reasons for a drop in the number of young adults in the church, and found that it was linked to a lack of discipleship of children and young people. Churches were
great at teaching, helping to give rules and entertaining, but discipleship was a challenge. Many of the children and young people who had grown up in churches were simply leaving once they reached adulthood, having never really ‘owned’ their faith. Around 80% of the population who become Christians do so by the age of 12, and so it is vital for the future of the church to address this issue. Whatever your age, discipleship is about a lifestyle – being fully part of the church community, able to celebrate faith in every way and being empowered to discover and practise God-given ministries. Becoming an intergenerational church in which all ages 4
are valued and included makes discipleship real.
Today… not tomorrow has been developed in partnership with Arise Ministries, and provides resources to enable all churches to examine the ways in which they nurture and develop disciples of all ages. These include: • a short, challenging introductory film to share with the church • a set of posters to encourage discussion and prayer • teaching material for all ages • suggestions for a ‘facilitation day’ for the whole church to meet together to explore ways of transforming church for all ages As a result of these, it is hoped that churches will draw up their own ‘Intergenerational Charter’ and use this to help transform the church for all ages today. A sample charter is included in the resource to help churches develop their own. Today… not tomorrow will be launched through a series of roadshows taking place around the country in February and March. Ed Jones of Arise Ministries will lead these evening events, which are suitable for church groups. The cost for this is £15 per person (including a copy of the resources). The resources will also be available for download from the website. The Today… not tomorrow roadshows will be taking place on 13 February – Huddersfield 14 February – Nottingham 5 March – Rickmansworth 6 March – Crawley 7 March – Cheltenham 11 March – Andover
To find out more about this exciting new resource, and to book your place(s) on one of the roadshows, see: www.todaynottomorrow.org.uk Get in the Picture With a brand new website this year, Get in the Picture is again taking place across the country during Advent. Churches have been taking the Christmas story onto the High Street and helping people to engage with the real meaning of Christmas, by dressing up and being part of a town-centre nativity scene. Wise men and shepherds have once again visited the newborn baby, young and old have dressed up as Mary and Joseph, photos have been shared with family and friends!
Have you taken part in this simple idea? If so, we’d love to hear about what you did, and stories of how it went. Look out for the survey coming to churches which registered this year. For more information about the initiative, see www.getinthepicture.or.uk Inter faith resources The demographics of Britain have changed considerably in recent years, leading to challenges and opportunities as people of different religions and cultures live
and work alongside one another. The Baptist Union’s Inter Faith Task Group has recognised that many Christians are fearful of engaging with those of other faiths, and therefore isolate themselves from those who are ‘different’. Some Christians may also be concerned that their own faith could be ‘watered down’ by developing such relationships. In order to build up confidence in engaging with those of other faiths, the group has developed some resources to help churches understand the biblical basis for doing so. The first of this new set of resources was launched during Inter faith Week at the end of November.
The 12 Myths of Inter Faith Engagement is a set of postcards to empower Christians in a multifaith world. Each card deals with one of the myths, and includes background information and suggestions to get you thinking within a small-group context. They allow discussion and conversation by people of all faiths and none, and could be included in the programme of an existing small group, or as a new special-interest group. Guidelines for those leading the group are included in the pack. These sets of cards are available to order from the BUGB Online Store. Additional resources, for those who want to explore 5
Mission this area in more depth, will be available soon from www.baptist.org.uk/interfaith The BIG Welcome This year, 305 Baptist, Elim and Methodist churches offered a special ‘BIG Welcome’ to visitors at a service or event in September. On average around 12 guests were welcomed to each event – meaning that over 3600 people had accepted their invitation. Around a quarter of the churches taking part offered visitors a free copy of the new BIG Welcome booklet – and some picked up on the Prodigal Son theme and ideas in it when planning the service. This booklet is suitable as a giveaway for visitors at any time of year, and copies are still available to order through the BIG Welcome website.
We launched a new website for the BIG Welcome, which is still available for churches considering another BIG Welcome event. In fact, some of the undated resources are still available to order – so if you would like to order more, please have a look at www.thebigwelcome.org Question We’re delighted that, since its launch in September, this new bilingual DVD resource has already had a reprint! Exploring the kind of questions about God 6
that are often asked early on in a journey of faith, Question has six video-based sessions with questions to help prompt discussion. Available in English and Welsh editions, a short sample video is now
available at www.baptist.org.uk/question to give you a feel of this stylishly-produced new small group material. Copies are available for £8.00 + p&p from the Baptist Union Online Store. Missionscene The latest edition of missionscene, the online magazine from the Mission Forum, is now available from www.baptist.org.uk/ resources-events/missionscene.html This edition focuses on church presence in the community and includes stories of churches which have developed a particular link in their community, along with a wealth of information about events and resources to support you in mission. We’re also trying to find the oldest youthworker in a Baptist church! So, if your youthworker is more mature in years, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry Paul Goodliff Head of Department
Introduction Supporting ministers through counselling and debt advice enabling them to lead their church or organisation in its mission. This edition we reflect upon some of the financial challenges and changes affecting ministerial support. The Future and Financial Support It will be evident by now that the financial constraints upon the Baptist Union have broad implications but I can say that there will be some reductions in the way we have hitherto been able to offer financial support for ministry. It is my hope that in 2013 we are still able to offer some support to those embarking upon sabbatical study, although probably at a reduced level, sadly; and the support for further studies and student bursaries will continue (the former with some alterations in its focus, described below). We will still offer some financial support for pre-retirement courses and the Ministry Refresher Course, although it is my hope that there might be a greater proportion of the costs for those two events supplied by those who attend, or their churches. My aim is to continue with as much as possible in the form of ministry support, given a substantially reduced budget, aware that much of what we do is an expression of fellowship rather than a major financial contribution. I hope that the person appointed to the role of Ministries Team Leader (which replaces the current role of Head of Ministry Department) will have firmer details to offer in the next Transform, but do keep your eye on the website for up to the minute guidance as things change.
Review of Selection, Training and Funding of Ministerial Training The Ministry Executive Committee recently commissioned a major review of our selection for ministry processes, the patterns of training for ministry, and its funding. This will begin in the New Year, so I welcome any observations you might have. Have you recently completed ministerial training and formation? Let me know your thoughts and any concerns you have in confidence. Have you been involved in selection for ministry through an Association MRC or college selection conference? Where might we improve our service? How do you think we should fund ministerial training (given we have very little financial support to offer from Baptist Union funds), and is bi-vocational ministry the future? Really, if you have anything to offer by way of constructive observation to the group that will undertake this review, then write to me or email me at pgoodliff@ baptist.org.uk. Support to Further Study and Scholarship We have long supported further theological or ministerial study through Further Study Grants, but currently the demand outstrips the available funds (there is something of a theme emerging in this edition of Transform!) and so the Ministry Executive approved proposals to focus the available funds upon that kind of study which is more research-based, and may aid the formation of the scholars of tomorrow and the next generation of tutors in our colleges, commencing next academic year, 2013-14. Practically, this means in the future the support for so-called â€˜taught Mastersâ€™ degrees, whose primary function is ministe7
Ministry rial development, will take the form of a fixed grant of a relatively modest amount, whereas those awards that are researchbased (MPhil, DTh, DMin and PhD awards, for instance) will attract more substantial funding, following the current formulae for calculating the amount per student. I hope this will not deter ministers from taking taught Masters courses, but in times of reduced funding, the focus needs recalibrating. All existing recipients of these grants will continue to receive funding on the current pattern. Further guidance can be sought from Ian Millgate (imillgate@ baptist.org.uk) Baptist Ministry Professional Body We are at a very early stage of testing the possibility of establishing a ‘Professional Body’ for Baptist ministers, with the charges for certain benefits that Home Mission is unable to fund being wrapped into the annual fee that would be required of members. It will not be an obligation for ministers to join, but it is hoped that many aspects will seem so attractive to those who wish to conduct their ministry to the very best of their ability, that many will want to do so. It is hoped that some early consultation will be possible through Minister’s Conferences in 2013, and that channels of consultation might be established throughout this year, but this is really an opportunity for me to draw your attention to this idea. If you have any comments, then I would welcome them, and will pass them on to others who are working with me to see if this idea of a ‘professional body’ has sufficient attraction to make worthwhile its establishment. Baptist Ministry Forum In October of last year a new forum met for the first time, gathering representatives 8
from The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Baptist Union of Scotland and The Baptist Union of Wales. We hope to meet annually to consult together in developing best practice, meeting the challenges of a changing culture with ministry that is responsive and effective, and drawing as close as possible our procedures for accreditation and support for ministry. Do pray for this new venture, that it might aid the witness to the gospel throughout these islands as ministry evolves to meet the ever-changing culture with the neverchanging ‘good news’ of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Faith and Unity Stephen Keyworth Head of Department Sam Sharpe Project In the last edition of Transform, we reported on a visit from representatives of the Jamaica Baptist Union to BUGB. Wale Hudson-Roberts, Racial Justice Adviser for BUGB, writes of the return visit which took place recently: “Even after slavery had been abolished, when the Emancipation Act was signed into law in the British Empire, the enslaved had to serve another four year period of apprenticeship. In 1838 the apprenticeship period ended, and on August 1 the formerly enslaved declared, “Jubilee, Jubilee, Queen Victoria set we free.” By common acclaim, 2012 – the 50th anniversary of Jamaica gaining political independence – has also been declared a year of Jubilee. The team that travelled to Jamaica comprised of representatives from the Northern Learning Community, London Baptist Association, Regent’s Park College and the BUGB National Resource. We were mainly observers, but that was helpful. It helped us carefully watch history being unfolded as academics from North America, the UK and Jamaica spoke about Sam Sharpe, land, employment, class, the IMF, World Bank, unfair trade rules, and the need for an equivalent Sam Sharpe revolt to address the curse of Neo Colonialism, Jamaica’s nemesis. It was a powerful conference. However, for the partners of the Sam Sharpe Project, launched at the Jamaican High Commission in May 2012, the conference messages speak loudly. On a plaque in Kensington, St James, is written the words of a slave woman who lit the trash house and started the Christmas rebellion led by Sam Sharpe on 27 December 1831. ‘You may kill me but my children will be free.’ Empowering young African and Caribbean people will be given serious consideration as programmes are
implemented by the Project partners. Not only will this be consistent with the Jubilee theme, but will help to apply Sharpe’s legacy. He died to free the mind as well as the body. And then there is the issue of racism. The evil that Sharpe strategically confronted indeed, sacrificed his life for. The constant and intentional challenge to overcome racial injustice in and outside of the church, and the quest to create transformative Godly multicultural communities is at the very heart of what the Project is about. Sam Sharpe’s radical and rightly revolutionary approach to challenging racial inequality must surely be the embodiment of who and what the Sam Sharpe Project is. Until then, the message I have brought back with me is, Jubilee can never be a reality for people of colour, women and those who frequently experience discrimination.” For more information about the Sam Sharpe Project and Robert Beckford’s lecture at the inaugural Sam Sharpe lecture at the Jamaican High Commission then please visit www.samsharpeproject.org.
Climate Week 4-10 March 2013 Climate Week is a national event seeking to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. In the last two years, thousands of events and activities have taken place across the 9
Faith and Unity
As a Baptist Church, is this something you could get involved in? Have you signed up to being an Eco-congregation yet? How much progress are you making in being a good steward of God’s earth? The BMS World Mission and Eco-congregation websites www. bmsworldmission.org/resources and www. ecocongregation.org have resources that could help you get started or do even more. Climate Week is backed by every part of society, from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. Isn’t it time for us to make a larger impression in this? If you’d like to, register your event on the website www.climateweek.com and help to create a national movement for change. Also post your views on the Creation Challenge website (specific to the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches) at www.creationchallenge.org.uk. Church leaders visit the party conferences Since 2003, Baptist leaders have taken part in a non-conformist delegation to the three main party conferences. This enables them to meet politicians of all stripes, and to offer a visible witness of support for those involved in public life. The occasion also offers the opportunity for church leaders to establish relationships with Christian MPs, and Christian groupings within each of the three parties. This year Jonathan Edwards attended the Liberal Democrat conference, Simon Woodman the Labour conference, and Stephen Keyworth met with 10
Photo: Gareth Wallace
country planned by organisations from every sector of society. These have included practical ways to combat climate change. The campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
The delegation, consisting of leaders from the Baptist, Methodist and URC churches alongside representatives of Quakers in Britain and the Salvation Army, spent a day at each conference. After attending a prayer breakfast organised by the Christian Fellowship of each party, the group met with the politicians. Conversations ranged over a number of topics, including the life of the Christian in Politics, and the experience of coalition government. The delegation took the opportunity to challenge politicians on various concerns including poverty, the use of drones, and the replacement of the Trident Nuclear deterrent. Houses are more than bricks and mortar Britain has a housing crisis. Housing costs have increased faster than wages; the housing support available to people on lower incomes is being cut; the number of new affordable homes cannot satisfy the demand. Homelessness is consequently on the rise. The Joint Public Issues Team has been exploring how churches might respond this problem – theologically, morally, practically and politically. The result was a new resource. More than Bricks and Mortar? sets out the dimensions of the housing crisis. It offers a Christian analysis of the human need for secure housing, suggests some practical and political solutions that churches might pursue and poses some
questions aimed at getting readers to respond to the issue. It is available at www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/housing Think Speak Act Encouraging and equipping Christians to be agents of change This is the second day conference and networking event hosted by Joint Public Issues Team, intended for all Christians who believe that their faith is inseparable from political action. We want to encourage, support and equip anybody who is interested with the knowledge and know-how to make a Christian mark in the world about them. We want them to equip us with a network of interested, willing and able supporters. After a keynote address by Anglican theologian Giles Fraser, the conference will split into workshops on such things as how to run campaigns, how to see the needs in local areas, and how to use statistics to good effect. We will explore how Christians can get stuck in and be agents of change. Go to www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/thinkspeakact Baptist Assembly Seminars Faith and Unity has organised three seminars for the Baptist Assembly in May, and we look forward to welcoming Assembly participants. Glen Graham, Convenor of the Disability Justice Group writes: “In the last issue of Transform I wrote about our desire to host a seminar at Assembly. It is my pleasure on behalf of the Disability Justice Group to invite you to our seminar entitled ‘Overcoming Barriers To Inclusion’.
In this seminar, we will identify common barriers disabled people face in four areas. Firstly, language used towards disabled people. Second, access issues. Third, social attitudes, and finally theology and what the Bible has to say about disability. We would love to have your input and stories of good practice.” Another group are working on a seminar which will help delegates to reflect on how best to provide pastoral care for gay and lesbian churches. Lynn Davidson, Domestic Violence Networker for BUGB is planning a training seminar for churches working in the area of domestic violence. She writes: “1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Two women per week will be murdered by a partner or ex-partner. At least 750,000 children a year live through emotional and psychological abuse as they witness domestic violence. Domestic violence happens in all walks of life, not only in certain types of families. Looking at these numbers, it’s obvious that domestic violence is happening in our churches. The church has an important part to play in bringing a message of love, grace and peace to those experiencing domestic violence. The church is ideally placed to support and protect women and children from abuse. Often, however, the abuse is compounded by flawed theological teachings and Biblical beliefs that encourage forgiveness over accountability for sin, distorted teaching on marriage and divorce and on prayer without practical action. Through training, our churches can be resourced and equipped to bring the truth of Christ’s healing love to those in its midst who are experiencing domestic violence.” For more information on the Baptist Assembly, and to book your place, visit www.baptistassembly.org.uk 11
Council Richard Nicholls General Manager
Baptists in transition for mission (A report on major reforms following the Baptist Union Council, November 2012.) Baptist Union Council, the governing body of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, has agreed major reforms of the denomination’s structures to strengthen the support it gives to local churches. The reforms arise out of a year-long review which was initiated by financial concerns but which has been undertaken with a much broader remit to establish structures more fitting for mission in the 21st century. At the heart of the changes is a new way of working together between the national office in Didcot, the regional associations and the Baptist colleges to support churches. The changes are designed to enhance the interdependence between churches, associations and members of specialist teams. As a result there will be downsizing of the national office in Didcot, with some work taken on by associations whilst removing duplication of activity carried out both in Didcot and the associations. At Baptist House the number of staff will be reduced by 14 full time equivalent posts from 46 to 32. The current five departments will become three new specialist teams. Finance and Administration including the Baptist Union Corporation (legal and property matters) will become the Support Services Team. The Ministry Department, responsible for the training and accreditation of ministers, will become the Ministries Team. Faith and Unity, Mission and Communications Departments will be merged into a new team called Faith and Society. 12
The role of General Secretary, currently held by the Revd Jonathan Edwards, will have a new job description incorporating many of the tasks done by the current General Manager Richard Nicholls. A nominating group has been established to look for a new General Secretary. Both of the current roles will cease at the end of July 2013, but Richard has agreed to serve as Transitional Manager for a limited period whilst the new arrangements are put in place. Council expressed their love and prayers for Jonathan and Richard at this very difficult time. A new leadership team, the Baptist Steering Group, will replace the Senior Management Team at Baptist House and will be responsible for implementing the strategy of the Union that has been agreed by Baptist Union Council. The group will include the new General Secretary, the leaders of the new teams at Baptist House, representatives from the regional associations, Baptist colleges, BU Trustees and BU Council. An accompanying group will meet with the Steering Group three times a year to provide different viewpoints from across the Union. This group, whose membership will be refreshed regularly, will include the President of the BUGB and at least two people from a black or ethnic minority background, two people under 40 and two women. Part of the money received by the Union from its members through the annual ‘Home Mission’ appeal is dispersed as grants. Grants are awarded to support a minister’s stipend or mission project in situations where these posts and projects would not otherwise be possible. This has been done centrally at Baptist House but from 2013 will be administered through six association partnerships. In these partnerships two or three associations will decide together who is awarded grants in their regions.
Other reforms agreed at BU Council included reducing the size of Council and making its role more strategic, encouraging the establishment of networks of Baptist churches and a reduction in the number of committees reporting to Council. The decisions come after a year of prayer, consultation and discussion to ‘discern the mind of Christ’ as to the future of the Union. It has been prompted partly by a deficit in the Union’s finances but also in response to the 400th anniversary of the Baptist denomination in the UK and the desire to know which direction God was calling Baptists to follow in the future. The vision behind the changes, arguably the biggest for a generation, is for the Union to be a more flexible movement, that can adapt to new mission challenges and opportunities in today’s society, where support is given and decisions made as close to the local church as possible. During the Council meeting presentations on the urgency behind the reforms was highlighted by the Younger Leaders’ Forum, who spoke on New Models of Mission and a report given by Ian Bunce, Head of the Mission Department, entitled Mission and stopping the decline of the church. “Are we prepared to lose what we’ve got in order to gain what God wants us to have?” Ian said. “As God sent Jesus into our neighbourhoods, so he sends us. The challenge for us is about releasing people into our communities. “We need to find a new ecclesiology and practice, beyond the church and Sunday gathering, towards a shared life and community that empowers whole life discipleship, where together we engage in
the mission of God in his world. “Church in the future will look far more messy. We don’t need uniformity, we desire a culture where diversity is celebrated.” Jonathan Edwards commented, “This is a very painful time but it is clearly right for the Baptist Union to make serious financial cuts. My colleagues and I at Baptist House have all done our work out of a profound sense of God’s call, and we appreciate the sensitivity and support of the denomination as we seek to discover his will for our future. My visits around the country constantly remind me of the energy, initiative and deep commitment of churches, colleges and associations to share in the mission of Christ. Amidst the challenges there is a great deal to encourage us and I look forward to seeing the way in which God leads the Baptist family in the coming years.” (For more information and reports to go www.baptist.org.uk and www.baptisttimes. co.uk) Other Reports Mission The Mission Department updated Council with news of several projects that have been worked on over the past year, they included Question, a pre-Alpha video course, and Today Not tomorrow, a major piece of work to help churches review how they do Children’s and Youth work. The Department also shared how 3,600 people had come to Baptist churches for a first time through the Big Welcome Project and that over 80 towns had already signed up for Get in the Picture, a Christmas evangelistic project. An evening programme on New Models of Mission took place. The story of the new expression of Church on Brick Lane was told and can be viewed on the BUGB Youtube 13
Council channel. This is an amazing mix between business and frontline mission. Following this presentation the Younger Leaders’ Forum updated Council on the exciting work which they have been engaged in, not least the launch of their website, missinggeneration.com and the events that are running around the country. Ministry The Ministry report to Council included information about a new ‘prepare to pioneer’ course for church planters, run in collaboration with the Mission team; new guidelines for the handling of complaints and disciplinary cases; changes to the way the Further Studies Fund is allocated; and notice of a major review of the way we select those candidating for ministry, and their training and its funding. In addition, a new joint venture with the Baptist Union of Scotland and the Baptist Union of Wales and BUGB was introduced. The Ministry Forum will meet twice a year and take on some of the work hitherto undertaken by the BUGB Ministry Executive Committee, which ceases in March. It is hoped that closer collaboration between the three Unions, (and perhaps in the near future, the Irish Baptist Network also) will enable all three to develop policy and gain vision in a better way.
Faith and Unity The Faith and Unity report to Council included the provision of Domestic Violence seminars for the recent Minister Refresher Conference and 2013 Assembly, the work of the Disability Working Group on ‘Bridging the Barriers to Integration and Inclusivity’ and news of the Sam Sharpe Project. Council were also updated on the on-going conversations with Affirm (the Network of Baptists Affirming Gay and
Lesbian Christians) which continue to be very helpful. Council also received copies of recent reports considering ethical dilemmas raised by the use of drones, the housing crisis, and Trident, which were produced in association with the Joint Public Issues Team. Pension Schemes The Pension Scheme Trustees reported on both the Baptist Ministers Pension Trust and the Baptist Union Staff Pension Scheme. The annual summary funding statements of both schemes had already been circulated and access had been given to the Annual Reports and Accounts of both Schemes. The funding positions of both schemes had worsened, largely because of the reduction in gilt yields which form the basis of the actuarial calculation. The Actuarial valuation of the Staff Scheme had been accepted by the Pensions Regulator, although the Ministers’ Scheme had not yet been accepted. The deficiency contributions to the Ministers Scheme would increase as already advised to 11% of pensionable stipend from January 2013. Baptist Strategy Building Scheme Council decided to close the Baptist Strategy Building Scheme. There would be no further such loans, but existing loans would continue on the basis agreed when the loans were granted. The surplus cash in the Scheme would be undesignated and transferred to general funds. Home Mission Stipend 2013 Council noted that the Home Mission Stipend would increase to £20,700 in 2013. This information had been available on the
Around the Union Central Administrative contact: Stephen Copson 01462 442548 email@example.com We are grateful to God that the last year has seen four churches join the association, all fairly new fellowships. It is encouraging to see congregations wanting to share a sense of belonging and support. In September 2012 the ‘Footsteps’ programme for training church leaders was launched in partnership with Regent’s Park College, and the early indications are that this will be a popular and useful programme for resourcing people for ministry and mission in the churches. .
East Midlands Administrative contact: Becky Hardiman 0115 981 8645 firstname.lastname@example.org The EMBA has had a lot of new ministers coming into the association and we had a very uplifting and challenging Ministers’ Conference in September with Malcolm Duncan and Lynn Green. Malcolm Broad led a Treasurers’ Training Day which was much appreciated. We came to the end of the initial part of our Investing in Leaders workshops in November. Conversations have been taking place in Derbyshire about the formation of new Baptist networks after the closing of the Derbyshire Baptist grouping in December.
Eastern Administrative contact: Hayley Beckett 01263 826377 email@example.com Bishops Stortford BC are rejoicing in the completion of their new Baptist Church Centre after being without a building and worshipping in a school for several years. Barnwell BC, on a needy estate in Cambridge, also thank God that they have been able to purchase their own manse at long last. A new church planting initiative is being investigated in Southend.
Heart of England Administrative contact: Karen Martindale 0121 472 4986 firstname.lastname@example.org HEBA teamed up with Youth for Christ, Saltmine and local churches for BUGB President Chris Duffett’s visit in September. About 50 young people from around the association came together in Coventry for a morning of worship, teaching and preparation. During the afternoon they were out on the streets, sharing their faith in a variety of creative ways. In the evening a superb evening of music, drama and a message from Chris topped off what many said was the best thing they’d ever been to! Chris preached at Queen’s Road Baptist Church on the Sunday and then led a reflective day for leaders at Catshill Baptist Church on the Monday. 15
Around the Union London Administrative contact: Norman Kincaid 020 7692 5592 email@example.com The LBA Annual General Meeting in October was a tremendous celebration as we shared stories of how churches had engaged with the 2012 Games and saw God move in many encouraging ways. We also were delighted to welcome 10 new churches into membership of the association, reflecting the great diversity of our London churches. Building on the momentum of the success of the Baptist Assembly Youth Event earlier in the year, a new Youth Leaders’ Forum has been established to develop our Youth ministry strategy as we look ahead.
North Western Administrative contact: Mandy Howarth 01942 221595 firstname.lastname@example.org We are particularly looking forward to the visit of Chris Duffet in January. Chris developed his ministry as an Evangelist with the support of local Baptists (amongst others!) and his Light Project charity continues to be based in Chester. As well as having several significant initiatives lined up, many local churches are forming mission clusters, not only in preparation for the visit, but as a lasting Missional legacy. Despite growth, many of our churches are facing significant financial struggle, making ministry difficult to sustain – please pray for wisdom and provision. Pray too for our churches in North Wales, as we continue to participate in the Wales Futures process.
Northern Administrative enquiries: 0191 273 7641 email@example.com The association continued its ‘Expect’ theme during its Autumn Assembly with David Kerrigan as the main speaker and Jane Kitson leading the worship. The theme challenges our expectation of God to answer prayer, and what He expects of us in discipleship. We said farewell to John Singleton following his retirement in August and welcomed Rachael Ezra as our Youth Specialist. Chris Duffett visits the area in March to lead a weekend of evangelism and training. The association is also preparing to hold its first Away Weekend at a local hotel.
South Eastern Administrative contact: Steph Tidy 01444 233431 firstname.lastname@example.org As part of SEBA’s commitment to supporting ministers we have a new bi-monthly ‘Ministry Matters’ newsletter for all our ministers – giving ideas and suggestions as to how they can continue to develop their ministries. Our ‘Home Mission Champions’ are busy promoting the cause in their respective networks. The SEBA and SCBA Teams are gathering for a joint retreat in March. We are looking forward to the visit of Chris Duffett for four days in April which will include an n: vision youth event at Guildford and workshops and celebrations at various locations.
South Wales Administrative contact: Jackie Godding 02920 491366 email@example.com Our Big Hearted Weekend with Chris Duffett in November was a great time. Following the breakfast, our churches were out on the streets of Blackwood using several friendly fun ways of engaging with people. We had a brilliant time with the youth as well as an evening for people in their 20s & 30s with Tim Crahart’s Blues Band, Chinese food, and inspiring stories from Chris about sharing our faith with this age group. The Sunday celebration and Monday’s training event encouraged us to continue our mission.
South West Administrative contact: Chris Wooding 01392 433533 firstname.lastname@example.org The autumn saw us complete our Assembly Tour around the region, it was the first time we’ve done it that way and it enabled us to reach far more people in total than a single event. We’re now looking forward to “Urban Challenge”, the association’s mission week in Plymouth coming up in May – see the video on our website www.swbaptists.org.uk
Southern Counties Administrative contact: Keith Hawton 023 8041 0691 email@example.com Delighted in the commitment by members and leaders around SCBA churches to
growing in discipleship and leadership with over 70 people engaging monthly in Footsteps 1 and 2 on a Saturday, and in Growing in Service courses on Leading Worship, Preaching, and Pastoral Care.
West of England Administrative contact: Gary McFarlane 0117 965 8828 firstname.lastname@example.org There are some encouraging signs during this time of change. The response to Chris Duffett’s infectious message about sharing the good news when he visited this October, the publication of Nigel Coles’ new workbook for groups of three (Christian DNA groups), the first large scale WEBA event for youth for many years, and the beginning of gatherings for those aged 18-30 in our churches are all contributing to a sense that we are beginning to engage with a wider spectrum of individuals who want to be authentic missionary disciples of Jesus Christ.
Yorkshire Administrative contact: Debbie Gamble 0113 278 4954 email@example.com At the start of 2013, the YBA focus will be on prayer with 7 Prayer Concerts taking place in January. The concerts are a simple way to express our interdependence and our dependence on God at the beginning of the year. They will incorporate worship, use multimedia and be an opportunity to pray together. We look forward to sharing time with folk from our churches as we seek God together. Further details can be found at www.yba.org.uk
Staff News National Laveena Shetty Laveena joined the Communications Department in January 2009 as the New Media Coordinator. Since she has been at the Baptist Union she has created and developed some key websites. These include the current BUGB, LBA and the new Baptist Times Online websites. She has also contributed to the development of the new Safe to Grow online resource and supported some Associations as they evaluate their own websites. We wish Laveena well as she moves on to a new role. Monica Long Monica has served as PA to the General Secretary since July 2002, working with David Coffey until July 2006 and then
Jonathan Edwards. We have appreciated Monica’s gracious and effective service to the denomination. She has not only been an exemplary PA but has been willing to be involved in so many other ways and notably in connection with the Futures Process over the past year. We wish Monica God’s speed as she retires and moves back to Scotland. Gill Fox Gill joined the Ministry Department in January 2011. She quickly grasped the accreditation procedures for Ministers and has been a much valued member of the team. Sadly, in order to rebalance her work and family commitments, she needed to work closer to home and we said farewell to her at the end of 2012.
Regional East Midlands Dianne Tidball had surgery in the autumn and should be back at work in the New Year joining Mike Fegredo and Tony Haley who covered her responsibilities whilst she was off. We are thankful for a complete team again. Heart of England Keith Judson, Regional Minister Team Leader, was made an Honorary Ecumenical Canon of Worcester Cathedral in 18
September. Keith described the event as “A wonderful occasion, for which I’m deeply grateful!” In his address Bishop John Inge quoted Richard Baxter’s famous work `The Reformed Pastor’. Baxter was one of the ministers ejected from the Church of England in 1662 following the Act of Uniformity. His ministry in seventeenth century Worcestershire remains an inspiration and Bishop Inge prayed for the healing of divisions in Christ’s body today.
Communications Amanda Allchorn Head of Department
Communications in a time of change If there is one phrase I have repeated the most over the last seven years it is ‘the way we communicate is continually moving in quantum leaps’. Seven years ago my team wrestled with whether we should produce a BUGB DVD rather than video! Today technology is at our fingertips and many of us have a smart phone. We can both film something and upload it onto Facebook within seconds for the world to view. How we plan and deliver communications at local church level, association level and nationally therefore needs careful reflection. We cannot move totally over to electronic communications if some churches and elderly people cannot access the internet, yet as we all keep an eye on the bottom line we know we can reduce our costs if we don’t have to pay for printing and distribution. In reality we need ‘both / and’. Why not review your own local church communications at the start of a new year and consider ideas on how you too could move forward another step! Season of Prayer Many reading Transform will have shared in the BUGB Day of Prayer on 9 September 2012. The Senior Management Team at Didcot and the Association Team Leaders encouraged churches to use the resources on offer on the BUGB website to pray for the future of the Baptist family and current challenges regarding finances. Jonathan also picked up the theme again in his Transform editorial in September and in his blog. There have been over 6,500 hits on this item – a record number on any item we have ever uploaded onto the BUGB website http://www.baptist.org.uk/about-
baptists/bugb-futures/885-bugb-day-ofprayer-sunday-9-september-2012.html Following on from this the Association Team Leaders offered weekly prayers, uploaded onto the BUGB website. So thousands across the Baptist family have been seeking God as they have been praying, facing towards each other in a fresh sense of love and reflecting on the future. This has been an extraordinary season of prayer at a critical time. Why not go back to the BUGB website and engage again with some of the brilliant prayers available, of use at any time!
The Baptist Times Paul Hobson Editor
I am always inspired and challenged by 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul’s ode to unity and diversity. Using the human body as his canvas, he paints a compelling picture of how all believers of all shapes and sizes are connected to each other and have something to offer. Personal relationships, home groups, prayer partners, attending a Sunday service: all serve to share what the other is doing. But what about the wider body?
‘If one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.’
The Baptist Times wants to share what is happening across the denomination, particularly in a time of change. Do you have a story to tell? Drop me a line – whether it be brief details, a fully fleshed account – I would love to hear from you. You know I’m not the only one. prayers after fatal urch Ch The Baptist Times Weekly RoundIn its own small way The BapTisT Times outside building sta upbbing The Baptist Times has, I’ve recently been reading some throughout its history, agement ur co en th of the correspondence that came fai sought to play a role ter In to The Baptist Times after the – by reporting on our announcement of its closure in triumphs and hardships; November 2011. One of the most by sharing our thoughts repeated concerns was for those not and our words. yet online, particularly subscribers Need to help Children in s PJsbeen rch don Chu who had with the newspaper When tragedy strikes, for many years. many have told me of It’s clearly not a direct replacement, how they felt upheld in but we have tried to address that prayer and supported by with the Weekly News Round-up, the wider denomination. and in particular the option of the booklet In recent times this has included the death version. When printed on double-sided of a father and two sons in a freak farming paper, it can be folded and handed out accident; the murder of a congregation member in his flat; the remorseless chasing of alongside a notice sheet. a teenager that resulted in him falling under Are there people in your congregation a bus and the instant snuffing out of his who would appreciate this? Already several earthly life. All members of Baptist churches. hundred people download the booklet All gone too early. Each story shared by The version of the Weekly Round-up each week. Baptist Times in its various forms. ‘If one part Might there be more? suffers, every part suffers with it…’
News Round-up •
November 21, 2012
• No.044 • www.ba
freedom had campaigned for faiths. The of religion for all over venue was Are MusliMs taking faith significance of the inter being close the country? Does sell out also highlighted, it Baptist we engagement mean to the site of the first exactly our on our beliefs and weaken presence in england ago. faith? 400 years of hosted The answers to some The launch was Bunce, and more these question s resource by the revd ian mission of the BuGB appear in a new head union produced produced by the Baptist was department which of Great Britain which the resource. and its official ‘By confron ting hold warmly endorsed at that night. ing the myths launch on Monday of Inter more ‘God only overcom The 12 Myths The myths include: s’, ‘Other us back, we can become g with is a series of Faith engagement g common works through Christian confide nt in engagindifferent engage in inter Faith urs from postcard s explorin to be faiths only convert us’ and ‘We our neighbo cultures and building misconceptions, designed to relations to of religions and session people e said. group he used in a small can’t work alongsid good relationships,’ s will be allow for discussion. by working other faiths’. Two more resource weeks. lan, in the coming it is hoped that The revd Kumar rajagopa ,a Christians the london available through these myths knowledge regional minister with said the They are Inter Faith Journeys Baptists Associa tion, of interviews with Faith will have an increased and a new Baptist been helpful series of other faiths engage with resource would have has had to involve d in the inter Faith: a to he confidence in how in certain situations movement; and Inter nding, which them. theological understa at the deal with. that inter faith explores the subject in greater ing Present at the launch explain lane was and parcel’ Kahaila Café in Brickof the inter engagement was ‘part convert to depth. Faith Dr Harriet Crabtree week is inter of his life as a Hindu he hoped 12 Myths of Inter to order Faith Network. This Christianity, he said to break Engagement is availableunion of could help the Baptist Faith Week. about the this resource and enable people through for £3 barriers, ‘i feel so strongly Britain online store feel less Great initiative,’ she down importance of this of thing that to be ‘constructive and a copy. sort the is d’. ‘This said. threatene edwards g. The revd Jonathan ng those should be happenin inter faith utzInterz spoke, remindi ‘A great deal of zz Morezdetailszabo else - for also the outset ezfoundzatz Faithzweekzcanzb work is somewhereschools. This present that right from by d faithweek.org professionals, or for of people’s of their existence, as expresse http://www.inter Baptists works with the reality founder Thomas Helwys, lives and congregations.’
And then there have been the happier events, the ministry working well, the successful outreach, the life changed. How many ideas have been shared, how many days given a little boost by reading about someone saying or doing profoundly good things? It’s certainly one of the privileges of my job.
Baptist church MeMBers of a prayers at the in Birmingham said on sunday, site of a fatal stabbing meet for they just outside where worship. Baptist Wood ley Chelms shocked on Church were (November remembrance Day cordoned 11) to find their building a local man off by the police, after at 5am stabbed found had been was rushed to that morning. He ed dead on hospital, but pronounc arrival. as 25-yearHe was later named A post. Gregory lance old had died of mortem revealed he to the chest. a single stab wound celebrating a He had been out birthday. temporary The church is in while the accomm odation ment refurbish a of first phase place, and program me takes opposite the lance was killed shop unit they are using.has a high This particular area is known and crime of incidence area in the locally as a no-go evening. Pollock, A local man, Carlton appeared 24, of Chelmsley Wood,
tes Court before solihull Magistra murder. last week charged with of tension There has been a lot revealed t, over the inciden minister the Chelmsl ey Wood revd Neil roberts. tragic event ‘This has been a , but also for all of those involvedhe said. ity,’ for us as a commun worship and ‘To turn up for with a pool be faced, literally, police cordon of blood and a importa nce brings home the
and living of proclaim ing Christ in our the message of community.’ which is The Baptist church, Mission, has supported by Home the estate since been in the area community was built and runs . activities from its premises theology ‘it is a key part of our should people that Christ and his this, however be in places like be at times,’ difficult that may added Neil.
such a good ‘We thought it was not only of being suggested Peter suggestion your idea that we but the adults might the morning Blue ANyONe attending st Michael sponsor ed for wearing the children, many of service at Creech sunday (18 pyjamas out for a day. two of the like to do the same, and Wearing their pyjamas, ‘it was an idea from Baptist Church on have been Pastor them did.’ in the church,’ said they dressing gowns or ‘onesies’ over Novemb er) might children had they asked if clothes, the total mistaken for thinking party. Gary Birch. ‘They in their their normal Children pyjama had walked in on a simply the were allowed to come Children collected on sunday for for £500. in fact it was pyjamas and collect in Need came to over behind getting Need. congreg ation Need and the in BBC Children in
Contact Paul Hobson on editor@ baptisttimes.co.uk or 01235 517677 Visit: www.baptisttimes.co.uk For more on the Weekly Round-up visit http://www.baptisttimes.co.uk/index. php/the-baptist-times-weekly-round-updownloads Or go to http://bit.ly/Tef0Fa
Home Mission supports, equips and empowers
Home Mission Service Pack We’ve made changes to the Home Mission section of the BUGB website and created an area specifically for Service and Prayer Resources to help you bring Home Mission to life.
The latest resource in this new area is the Home Mission Service Pack – a pack which has been developed to provide ministers, church leaders and Home Mission reps with ideas and resources for a Home Mission service. You’ll find an order of service, sermon outlines/ ideas, stories of Home Mission-funded ministries, all-age talks, Bible passages, suggested hymns and songs, and links to resources on the BUGB website. To access the pack go to www.baptist.org.uk/praying-for-home-mission.html New Legacy Programme We have just launched a new Legacy Programme, giving people the opportunity to leave a gift in their Will towards the work of the Baptist Union. For many years generous giving has supported mission projects, enabled churches to support ministers’ stipends, funded chaplaincies, and equipped churches through guidance from association teams and national specialists. Home Leaving a Mission is the fund supporting all of this work. lasting
The Legacy Programme comprises a new leaflet ‘Leaving a lasting Legacy’ and a new section of the BUGB website – within Home Mission – which offers information on how to make a Will, addresses some frequently asked questions, and includes useful documents like an Asset Checklist as well as Codicil and Pledge forms which can all be downloaded. As fewer people in our communities attend church there has never been a greater need to reach out in creative and innovative ways to those on our doorstep.
g a gift th
uld …help to tran sfo ...help to sup rm the lives of you …help a chu port new ways of bei ng people rch call the ir first full-tim ng church e minister
We hope that many in our Baptist churches will consider leaving a gift to express their commitment to the Baptist family and to enable the dreams and visions of others to come to life.
Finance Philip Putman Head of Department
Introduction The staff in the Finance Office are available 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. At this time of year, the Finance Office staff are busy preparing year end information as the annual accounts for the many charities and companies we deal with are being completed with the assistance of the Union’s Auditors. 2013 Home Mission Stipend The Trustees have fixed the Home Mission Stipend for 2013 at £20,700, an increase of 3.5% on the 2012 Stipend. The Manse Value used in the pensionable income calculation for ministerial members of the Baptist Pension Scheme will remain at £6,000 from 1 January 2013. Deposit rates The Baptist Union Corporation currently (from 1 April 2012) pays interest at 0.90% on money deposited by churches in the Baptist Union Loan Fund. The current rate can be found on the Union’s website in the Finance & Legal area. 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 3.80% (from 1 April 2012) 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 can be found on the Union’s website in the Finance & Legal area. 22
Mileage rates There are no changes to the recommended rates. For the first 10,000 miles in each tax year, the rate is 45p per mile and for mileage over 10,000 the rate is 25p per mile. 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. Also, churches should not use the registered charity number of their local Association. Churches are currently regarded as ‘excepted charities’ under section 30 (2) (b) of the Charities Act 2011 and will not have their own registered number, unless they have been required to register due to their income level. The Government have extended the ‘Excepting Regulations’ until 2014, pending a decision on whether to lower the registration threshold of £100,000. The Committee reviewing the operation of the Charities Act have recommended that the registration threshold be reduced to £50,000, which has yet to be confirmed by Government. The Baptist Union Corporation has documentation available to support churches through this process, but there is nothing to do until the final timetable is published by Government. Those churches that have registered due to their level of income should quote the number issued to them by the Charity Commission. Gift Aid Declarations The required wording on Gift Aid Declarations has changed. The revised wording featured in the September 2012 edition of Transform. The wording is required only for new Declarations and not those in existence before 31 December 2012. Please ensure that any Gift Aid envelopes
or declarations you produce contain the new wording. New weekly and monthly offering envelopes for Home Mission are available from Publications. Real Time Information – major reform of the PAYE system A statement was issued to all church treasurers in October 2012 regarding changes to the PAYE system, which is due to be implemented during 2013. The statement regarding this is available on the Baptist Union’s website and we would urge all treasurers who currently have use of the PAYE system to take note of the contents of this statement since it is not being offered by HMRC as an option but as a requirement. Assembly voting cards for Retired Ministers In January each year voting cards for the Baptist Assembly are sent to ministers in pastorate and church secretaries. Retired Ministers are able to request voting cards and should do so in writing to the General Manager at the Baptist Union’s office in Didcot. BAPTIST PENSION SCHEME Basic Section All Church Treasurers will have received a letter from the Union providing details of the Government’s intention for all workers to be offered workplace pensions, through a process called auto enrolment. A Basic Section of the Baptist Pension Scheme opened on 1 January 2013 for employees of Baptist churches. More information can be obtained on the Union’s website, or from the Pensions Office at Baptist House. Sick Leave Treasurers are reminded that if their minister, or other staff members who are members of the
Baptist Pension Scheme have been continuously absent from work due to illness or injury for 4 weeks, it is important that the Pensions Office are notified immediately so that they can in turn notify the Insurance Company. This is important because of the income protection requirements. Delay in notifying the Pensions Office will result in the Insurance Company delaying the date on which income protection payments can be made, thus adversely affecting the member’s benefits. Members of the Scheme are also reminded that if they resign from service with the employer because of their ill-health, they are no longer eligible for the income protection payments which over a period of years could amount to a substantial loss of income. Return of forms It is important that members return the forms sent to them by the Pensions Office. These forms can include your Declaration of Pensionable Income and the forms required by the Pensions Office prior to your retirement. Failure to return these forms on time could result in lower contributions into your pension pot or a delay in collecting your pension and any lump sum due on retirement. Request for financial information Each year, the Pension Trustees are required to collect financial information from all employers (ie churches) to assess the Employer Covenant. If you have not yet submitted the summary online or on paper for the years 2010 and 2011, we would be grateful if you could now do so. The Pensions Office will soon be issuing a request to all churches to submit a summary for 2012. Further details can be found on the Pensions page of the Union’s website at www. baptist.org.uk/pension-schemes Indemnity Insurance Churches are reminded that with increasing
Finance amounts of legal action being taken against churches, it is vital that the church has adequate Public Liability Insurance. The standard cover these days is £5,000,000, but consideration should be given to increasing this to £10,000,000. In the event of a successful claim against a church which does not have adequate public liability insurance, it is very likely that the damages and costs would fall on the Charity Trustees personally, as lack of insurance would be considered negligent. It is also recommended that cover is checked to ensure that it includes legal expenses cover, since the cost of even successfully defending a claim can be very substantial. The Baptist Insurance Company standard policy does include some legal expenses cover, but Trustees should be sure they are covered, and for how much they are covered, especially if the church uses a different Insurance provider. Any church requires Public Liability Insurance Cover, even if they are just starting up and do not already have a constitution or buildings.
Compiled by Philip Cooke FCA, Honorary Taxation Adviser to the Baptist Union Thought it might be helpful to devote this issue to some important reminders. PAYE Real Time Information (RTI): The letter and statement sent to church treasurers in October containing an introductory summary of RTI is still available on the Treasurers Channel on the BUGB website. 24
Churches will by now also have received HMRC’s introductory letter and leaflet which provides a very important link - www.hmrc.gov. uk/rti - to its helpful RTI site. Urgent reference to this site is absolutely essential - especially to the section headed “Full guidance on operating PAYE in real time” - which spells out what the new system of reporting involves. The letter from HMRC makes clear that the starting date for RTI is April 2013 except where employers (possibly small employers such as churches) are advised (maybe around February 2013) of a later starting date. Because real time reporting extends to expenses and benefits, except where a P11D dispensation is in place, it is vital that treasurers who have not yet obtained a dispensation for the kind of expenses which are normally ‘tax allowable’ should do so without delay. We will endeavour to post further information concerning RTI on the BUGB website Treasurers Channel as and when it becomes available. Gift Aid Relief declarations: Apologies that the piece in the last issue of Transform about Gift Aid Relief declarations was written and printed before HMRC issued further guidance, but you will probably be aware from the notice which appeared in What’s New on the BUGB website that declarations given by existing donors using the old format do not need to be replaced by new declarations using the revised wording, provided it is made quite clear to donors that they must have paid sufficient income and/ or capital gains tax to cover the tax reclaimed on gifts made to ALL charities during any tax year. The revised advice is still available on the Treasurer’s Channel. Small Charitable donations: At the time of writing we are still waiting for finer details of how claims for the new ‘Gift Aid style’ relief for small charitable donations,
due to commence in April 2013, will be administered, but further information will be posted on the Treasurers Channel when available. In the meantime it is perhaps worth repeating two essential points mentioned in the previous issue (32) of Transform, namely: 1. In order to be eligible to claim a GASD top-up payment a charity must have been inexistence for at least three years and have made at least three ordinary Gift Aid relief claims in the previous seven years; and 2. Must have made a Gift Aid relief claim on donations made under Gift Aid declarations in the same year of at least 50% of the small (non-declaration) donations - eg if the maximum top-up payment of £1,250 is to be claimed on small donations of £5,000, then there must also be Gift Aid relief donations of at least £2,500 in the same year. Just how HMRC will regard the “same year” in cases where Gift Aid relief claims are made on an accounting year basis and small donation topup relief is dealt with on a tax year basis is one of the points yet to be clarified. Forms P11D: RTI, whilst doing away with the end of year PAYE returns (forms P35 & P14), will still involve the filing of forms P11D. It is therefore advisable to make sure that you have got a dispensation covering all of those expenses which would normally be allowable for income tax purposes. For most churches this is likely to mean that all but reimbursed manse lighting and heating expenses would normally be covered by a dispensation. Manse lighting and heating reimbursements however do give rise to a taxable benefit and therefore have to be shown at section N of the P11D (or Miscellaneous – Reimbursed expenses on the online version). A minister also needs to include the amount reimbursed at box 17 of the Minister of Religion pages of his/her return whilst claiming (at box
25) up to 25% (for church-business use) of the total lighting and heating expenses actually incurred. Rental of minister-owned property leased to church: In situations where a church leases a property owned by a minister and /or spouse for use as a manse the rental should (with a view to demonstrating commerciality) desirably reflect the market rental for a similar property in that location. In some situations however, especially in areas of high housing costs, this may not be financially possible and church and minister will need to negotiate the most feasible rental possible. There appears, in some quarters, to be a notion that the rental should always be equal to the “manse annual value” fixed for pension contribution and benefit purposes (currently £6,000 pa), but this is incorrect and market rental should normally be the criterion - though if this cannot be achieved then the manse annual value should perhaps be regarded as a minimum. The rental, less any deductions for allowable expenses, is taxable in the hands of a minister and spouse (if the property is jointly owned) and needs to be included in the respective tax returns. Gift to Minister on retirement: Churches are reminded of the difficulty which arises in making a farewell gift to a retiring minister. The problem occurs because HMRC takes the view that such a gift is a taxable “Employer-funded retirement benefit”. Reference should be made to section 6 of the Taxation Guidance Notes for Churches & Ministers (publication F5 on the BUGB website) for further information. Minister’s Income Tax Return: 31 January 2013 is the last day for the online filing of personal tax returns for the year 201112. Because HMRC’s software does not extend 25
Finance to the Minister of Religion pages it is necessary to use commercial software and ministers are reminded of the facility offered by Keytime at an extremely attractive price - further details at: www.keytime.co.uk/ministers/ Ministers may also find it helpful to refer to the publication Self Assessment and the Minister – document F13 on the BUGB website. Manse service costs: Where a church provides manse accommodation for a minister, whether by way of a church-owned manse or one which is leased from the minister or a third-party landlord, expenses such as council tax, water charges, buildings insurance and external repairs and maintenance incurred by the church will not give rise to any taxable benefit, and should not be shown on form P11D. The annual value of the accommodation itself is also exempt from tax and should likewise be excluded from the form P11D but, as indicated above, the net rental income received by a minister and spouse is taxable and must be shown in their tax returns. Housing allowance: It cannot be stressed too often that a ‘housing allowance’ is additional pay by any other name and must be treated as such for PAYE purposes. Accommodation provided for Minister in Training: Provided a Minister in Training (MIT) has been duly ‘called’ by and ‘inducted’ to the ministry of a church, he/she is regarded by HMRC as satisfying the definition of a minister of religion for the purpose of being entitled to the exemption from tax on the annual value of accommodation provided by a church (ie owned by or leased by the church) for the better performance of his/her duties. However, as emphasised above, the rental 26
income received by the MIT (and any spouse) for a property leased to a church is taxable and needs to be shown in the respective tax returns. The property also needs to be located in reasonable proximity to the church for it to be regarded as a manse. Important deadlines to watch: • 19 April - Final remittance of PAYE, NICs and other payroll deductions (22 April if paid electronically) • 19 May - Filing of annual PAYE return (forms P35 & P14) • 6 July - Filing of forms P11Ds & P11D(b) • 19 July - Payment of Class 1A NICs (22 July if paid electronically) • 31 October - Final date for filing self assessment ‘paper’ income tax returns • 31 January - Final date for filing self assessment online income tax return
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, however, prepared to respond to questions of a general nature on a similar ’no responsibility’ basis and my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to prevent 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 The work of the team dealing with property enquiries, charity law, and other questions from churches continues to be very busy. The difficulties faced by local churches are very varied. Some questions are straightforward; others reveal complex problems within the church, or difficult relationships with neighbours. We will always do our best to support you but realise that we are only sharing your burden. We hope that in these situations you will be able to identify helpful solutions – and pray that you will also be blessed with wisdom – as well as the information we provide! We all need to remember – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1.5 (TNIV) Insurance Certificates Churches are reminded to retain all historic copies of insurance certificates in case a claim is raised against the policy at any time in the future. A church has encountered difficulties because the historic public liability insurance details could not be found. For most public liability insurance policies the relevant period of insurance is when the event occurred, not when the claim is raised. Insurance details can therefore be needed many years after the policy has lapsed. Website Photographs and Copyright Issues Paying for copyright on photographs, graphics and images can be costly. Many churches and charities use pictures copied off the internet but this can lead to a bill for several hundred pounds per
photograph if an electronic search picks up that a picture has been used without a license agreement. Anyone running a website needs to have copyright cover for the images they use or to use their own photographs. One of the largest photo and image agencies in the world, Getty Images, now has software that can automatically detect the use of unauthorised images on any website and they are acting to protect the rights of the photographers and artists involved. If the image or photo used is not covered by a copyright licence it is possible for the user to be faced with an invoice for hundreds of pounds per picture. It is recommended that pictures are removed where the source is not known. As a service Churches Together in England are making their own photos available on www.cte.org.uk/photos. Images of Baptist life are available at www.flickr.com/groups/ ukbaptistchurches. More information about copyright issues can be found at www.stockphotorights.com. Reuse of Jam Jars Some confusion has arisen about whether or not food hygiene regulations forbid the sale of jams, chutneys etc in reused jam jars. According to the regulations it is acceptable to reuse jam jars at home or for private gifts to friends but not to make jam, put it in reused jam jars and then either sell it or give it away at a public event. However, local authorities have some flexibility in how they apply the regulations and The Food Standards Agency has indicated that the regulations are unlikely to be enforced in relation to charity events. 27
Safeguarding Maeve Whitchurch Interim Safeguarding Administrator
I am very encouraged at the response of our training programme, lots of the feedback that I have received from across the churches has revealed a real desire to get policies updated and training delivered. Over the years our Safe to Grow publication has been very highly thought of and once again Baptists are producing a high standard of material to help keep this sensitive but important subject at the forefront of church life. Please do take a look at the website www.safetogrow.org.uk we are constantly updating it and a lot of new material has been added recently. On the home page under ‘Safeguarding training’ you can now find service outlines for level 1 of the training package. This means that if you would like to use the level 1 DVD as part of a service there is material that will help you to place it within the framework of worship. If you are wondering quite how this could work, please do take a look at this resource as it may be something that you have never considered before and you could find that it opens up a new area of valuing your children and young people. If you have not yet received a copy of the DVD please do get in touch with your regional association who should have copies available. Level 1 is designed to bring a new sense of awareness to the whole church and is not a training tool. The training starts with level 2 which is now being taught across the country and associations are all working hard to make it as available as possible. Our exciting new resource level 2a ‘Empowering Children to Stay Safe’ is now 28
downloadable from the website. This is designed especially for use with children and young people. Please can I encourage you to take a look. For further help on how to keep our children safe you might like to consider the ‘Parents Protect’ presentation that has been developed by Stop it Now! UK and Ireland and the Lucy Faithful Foundation. It is a 90 minute presentation for parents, carers and other adults to help them better protect their children from sexual abuse. Many churches are using this as an extra session at the end of their parenting courses, you might like to do the same. For further information Contact: Liz Maslen, tel: 01527 406915, email: email@example.com The website links are www.parentsprotect.co.uk and www.stopitnow.org.uk By January level 3 training for ministers, trustees and the designated person for safeguarding will be ready, you can now start to book this through you association. Can I also bring to your attention the need to make sure that you have up-todate Public Liability Insurance. The recent vicarious liability case ‘JGE v The English Province of Our Lady of Charity & Another’ that has just been lost in the Court of Appeal and is seeking permission to appeal from the Supreme Court makes it even more important for us to make sure that we are fully covered.
Today… not tomorrow roadshows will be taking place on: 13 February - Huddersfield, 14 February - Nottingham, 5 March - Rickmansworth, 6 March Crawley, 7 March - Cheltenham, 11 March - Andover For extra dates and further information go to www.todaynottomorrow.org.uk
In early 2013, Geoff Colmer and Helen Wordsworth will lead a series of seminars on ‘Transforming Congregations’. In February Chris Duffett will bring his Presidential encouragement to our association.
18 May: Association Assembly with Paul Maconochie.
29 January: n:vision leaders evening at Dalesdown. 26-28 February: Ministers’ & Leaders’ Conference. 3 March: n:vision ADORE youth celebration at Cuckfield. 6 March: Encouraging Young Missionary Disciples Tour at Crawley. 7 March: MRC Training Day. 12 April: n:vision ADORE youth celebration with Chris Duffett at Guildford. 12-15 April: Chris Duffett Events.
20 April: AGM Association Day with Pete Atkins of Ground Level, at Bretton BC, Peterborough.
26 January: Simply Church. 18-20 February: annual conference with ministers attending from SWBA, NWEBU and BUW, held in Saundersfoot. Our guest speaker is Revd David Kerrigan, General Director, BMS World Mission.
2 February: Safeguarding Training at Romford BC. 25-27 February: Annual EBA Ministers’ Conference at High Leigh with speakers Ann Morisy and Bishop Stephen Cotterell.
16 January: 2013: Begin in the Father’s Presence, Bloomsbury Central BC (10:30-15:30). John Ryeland of Christian Healing Mission will be leading a day when we can begin the New Year in ‘the Father’s Presence’.
10-13 January: Big Hearted Evangelism Tour – Visit of Chris Duffett to region. 11-13 March: Ministers’ Conference, Forest Hills Hotel, Frodsham. 25 March: Holy Week Retreat, Hawkshead Hill Baptist – walked retreat. 26 March: Holy Week Retreat, Hill Lane Baptist, Briercliffe. 21 April: Cumbria Roadshow, Millom BC.
4-6 February: Ministers’ Conference with Derek Tidball. 9 & 23 February: TiMM Module – Text and Context. 8-11 March: Evangelism and Training Weekend with Chris Duffett. 22-24 March: Association Away Weekend.
4-6 March: SWBA Ministers’ Conference at the Saunton Sands Hotel, North Devon.
12 January (Castlehold, Isle of Wight) & 19 January (Kidlington): Toolbox Days to resource & equip churches for their work with children, families and young people. Further details from Jacky Storey firstname.lastname@example.org 25-27 February: Ministers’ Conference in Bournemouth on the theme The Go-between Leader with mission specialist Dr Cathy Ross.
West of England
22 November: Mission in a Changing World BMS event at Counterslip Baptist Church, 19:30. 24 November: WEBA Treasurers’ Day Broadmead Baptist Church, Bristol, 09:30. 4-6 February: WEBA Ministers’ Conference with speaker Paula Gooder.
12 January & 16 March: 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership course continues in Huddersfield. Further info at www.on-course.co/7deadlysins 22-25 March: We are welcoming Chris Duffett to Huddersfield and Leeds as part of the Big Hearted Tour, details at www.bighearted.org.uk/yorkshirebaptist-association
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