Hawkinge Baptist Church
Minister Ali is grateful to the church family for their support during her cancer treatment
A period of putting things on 'hold' during Ali's illness has given an opportunity to re-evaluate the church's activities and discover where God is leading
A church engaging with the community and building relationships with people, and grateful for the support of Home Mission funding
Hawkinge Baptist Church is based in the ever growing town of Hawkinge, situated in the hills above Folkestone. We are a small, friendly church, trying to be salt and light in the community around us. We own the top floor of the local community centre, which is in the centre of the town and have been there now for thirteen years.
Firstly I would like to thank everyone in the SEBA area for their prayers over the last 18 months. To know people are praying for you means a huge amount and those prayers make a real difference. At the moment I am NED (No evidence of disease) and continue to have scans every three months to make sure the cancer has not spread. The church have been amazing during this whole time and people stepped in where they could to make things happen. Also, thanks to everyone who came and preached while I was off sick.
As a church, this year has been a time of getting back on track after we had to put a few things on hold while I was off sick but it also gave us an opportunity to stop and evaluate what we were doing and whether it was right to continue, or whether God had other things in mind for us.
We had to cancel our Holiday Club last year so it was great to hold one this year and to see up to 30 children come along each day. These times are great to strengthen relationships we already have with some families and to build new ones with families who join us for the first time. Our Saturday children’s club is also going strong and we have a committed group of children who come along each time. As the children who come get older we need to look at what we can provide for them in the future, with the limited resources we have. We also held a family craft morning recently and it was great to see lots of new faces there.
We ran our annual Holiday at Home event this year and we are now truly at capacity in term of numbers. To have 60 people from the community in our church, spending time together, chatting together was wonderful. We have a 'thought for the day' and people respond really well which is great.
We have run a few social events over the past few months which church members and people from the community have come to and we hope to continue this in the New Year. It is good for God’s people to laugh together and have fun, and for others to see that!
We are also going to be running the Bible Course
at the beginning of 2018. This is a course by the Bible Society and helps people to have a greater understanding of God’s word and to not feel so scared about it. The course is for people who have never really read the Bible or for those who have read it all their life, so we are going to be advertising it widely amongst the people who come to our various groups and in the community as well. We will be holding daytime and evening groups to try and cater for as many people as possible.
This month we are working closely with the Town Council to provide Christmas activities for the Community. We run the Christmas Tree Switch On event and have a Christian puppet show for the children as well as singing carols etc. We also lead the Community Carol Service with the Town Council, which includes the local Primary Schools and I have the wonderful opportunity of sharing the gospel with well over 500 people! We pray that people’s heart and minds may be open to receive.
Prayers of thanks
For God’s provision for us as a church in good and difficult times
We give thanks for the privilege of working with God in the town of Hawkinge. We are excited to see what he calls us to take part in next.
For new faces in church and for good conversations with people who come to our different groups during the week.
Wisdom in knowing what it is that God wants us to be doing. There is so much opportunity but we need to be wise and discerning in knowing what it is God is calling us to.
For members of our congregation struggling with ill health and difficult decisions.
That relationships with the Community Centre in which we are based will continue to grow and the partnership that has developed will yield good things for the community and the church.
As a church we would like to thank all the churches in the SEBA network for the support you have given to the Home Mission fund. A grant from Home Mission has enabled us to have Ali as our full time minister. Without Home Mission support this would not have been possible. So thank you all!
Ali Boddington - Minister
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