It was really encouraging to have a good number of visitors joining us on Sunday, especially as a number of our regular congregation were away this weekend.
The evening’s prayer meeting was divided between praying for each others’ needs, and the Bible study.
The study focused on the FIEC’s statement on women in Ministry:
1. The issues affect us all, and has to be dealt with sensitively not just because of the political climate, but because these issues deal with people’s lives, hopes, and experiences. We want to build people up in the faith, not bulldoze people down in our ignorance.
2. The study is a Bible study, and as such is a precious opportunity to spend time together looking at the word of God, and learning together as a Church. The study is very well laid out for any group or individual to follow through and is a very good spring board for any discipleship session.
3. We here at NBBC are working on renewing our own corporate constitution, and that involves going over our own definitions of what we understand by Biblical leadership. It is also important as an FIEC affiliated Church that we are in step with the position taken by the body we associate with.
So far, during the evening we dealt with the introduction which strongly asserts the essential equality of men and women in creation and redemption. We then went on to do the first study in 1st Timothy, looking at the struggle that Church was going through to adopt a God honouring leadership model, and how the conclusions they came to speak to us today.
At the church we hold a youth club on Friday nights called Signposts for kids aged 4-9.
The poster below will give you a flavour of what happens at the club. The club is held in the church hall unless otherwise indicated. For further info please feel free to get in touch – you’d be very welcome to join us!
We start now at 6:00 not 6:30 and finish at 7:00, not 7:30!!!
November 5th is the Anniversary of the Church’s founding in 1775, it is also, which goes without saying, an important commemoration in British history. The consequence is that we usually have a bonfire and BBQ here for anyone and everyone who turns up, sometimes that’s a couple of hundred.
Recently the bonfires have been themed – one year a pirate ship, the next a castle, it’s a lot of fun, and all sorts of people get involved. This year we will have to see what happens but we are looking forward to it.
Usually a guest speaker is invited for the Sunday nearest the date, and this year John Edmonds who is the new Pastor at Freshbrook Evangelical Church, Swindon is visiting us.
It has also become our policy to give the offerings given on that day to mission societies we are supporting. Last year we sent gifts to help Church planting among the Vietnamese in London, Bible translation in the Philippines, and Borneo, and Evangelism here in the UK.
Earlier this year, after much discussion, it was decided to carpet the main auditorium and take the pews from their fixed positions and move them to the perimeter of the room.
This step has made a huge impact on the way we use the space, and how it feels. Obviously it is much more versatile now, and youth club, meals, coffee morning etc. can take place with much greater ease, but our worship and prayer meetings have benefited too.
The general impression is that it has helped us move on from those unhelpful traditions that do not have their roots in any Biblical grounding that so easily attach themselves to groups over the years.
Members and friends worked and gave sacrificially to help do the work and finance it, and we are so thankful. New chairs are on order and we look forward to their arrival.
One of the unusual things about a congregation like ours is that despite worshiping in a modern building dating from the 60’s, our congregation actually dates back into the 1770’s.
Set back from the road, a number of people don’t realise, we have have a cemetery. It’s on that site that the original building stood.
In this atmospheric photo of the oldest part of the plot, taken a couple of years ago, you can see the tomb of George Batchelor on the left, who was the founder member. There are numerous publications on the history of the Church here, and the area which has a significant non-conformist heritage.
Numbers of people come by each year to trace ancestors for family trees. The place is a tranquil spot, and there are many interesting inscriptions on the stones.
Visitors are asked to remember of course that the cemetery is still in use, and is special place.
Wiltshire County Council has quite a good page on their history site about us. Also, there is the main resource book for history of the Baptists in this area called ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks’, by William Doel. As the book only went up to the late 1800’s, Andrew Jones, a deacon at Zion Baptist Church in Trowbridge wrote a sequel ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks revisited’ bringing the story up to date. Ben was very honoured to be asked to write the forward to that book.