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SEBASouth Ashford Baptist Church

  • Giving thanks to God for his faithfulness as they celebrate the church's 60th anniversary in September

  • Increasing its profile in the community and has led to further opportunities for conversations about spiritual matters

  • Becoming a beacon of hope in the community

SouthAshfordSouth Ashford Baptist Church was originally started in the late 1950s as a work from Ashford Baptist Church, Station Road. It took a while to get things off the ground, and after a few years of Sunday school meetings, Sister Mabel Sands (part of the BU Deaconess order) was appointed to lead the work in 1958. The land upon which the church was built was finally purchased in July 1959, so the church celebrates it’s 60th anniversary service this year. The chapel and hall was opened in 1961.

On Saturday 14 September at 14:00, an anniversary service is planned, with Rev Steve Chalke (a former youth worker at the church) coming to speak, and the Absolute Gospel Company choir will be performing a selection of songs from their new musical ‘The King is Coming’. All SEBA friends are invited to celebrate with us.

Things to thank God for in the last year:
  • for the replacement of the last remaining wooden windows on one side of the church, and for grants received from charitable trusts and money given in memory of former church members, to make this possible.
  • for a fuel poverty advisor who was able to help many in the church and local community in the last few months
  • for new people worshipping with us in recent weeks and months.
  • for the recent completion, with the assistance of Rev Jerry Newson (part time Regional Minister), of the boundary, insurance, car park matters and Deed of Easement with Beaver Community Trust (who run the Willow Centre, the Sure Start centre and nursery behind us), and the closer working relationship between the Centre and ourselves which is coming to pass.

Prayer requests
  • for the many in this ‘deprived’ area who suffer from various forms of addiction and chronic illness and other social problems
  • grant applications put in for a new heating system which is badly needed
  • for the Lord to send us more musicians
  • for our Church Secretary in his new role as SEBA South Kent Network Representative
  • for continued numerical and spiritual growth, and the impact of the changes this might mean on the church.

SouthAshford Aug19On a practical level it is sometimes small things that make difference: if any SEBA churches are having a ‘clear out’ we would appreciate you thinking of us, especially in the following areas: banners, posters and communion table linen.

The Church is united and in good heart at present as we look forward to the future. Despite our situation, the fellowship is very encouraged with what God is doing among us. Opportunities to speak to local mums who attend the Parent and Toddler Group have increased. Community engagement has also been increased through closer working with the Willow Centre (for example, a Christmas sing song concert for the children at the church was very well attended by parents and family), and increased hiring of premises. This increases our profile in the community and has led to further opportunities for conversations about spiritual matters.

SouthAshford toddlersThe church family and I are tremendously grateful for the help of Home Mission in the form of a grant. We are also very grateful for the support of the Regional Ministers, the Association and National Resource at Didcot, made possible of course by Home Mission giving. Without this help it would be difficult to see, humanly speaking, how the church here could have a long-term future. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone. Our hope and prayer is to work towards the time when we will no longer need a Home Mission Grant, yet currently, in the meantime, it is crucial to ensure the church is able to engage in mission.

As we move forward, the long- term plan, under God, is still for the spiritual and numerical renewal of the congregation, and for it to increasingly be a beacon of hope in this area. Currently though we have limitations as to how much we can achieve, and so we pray that some will hear the call to ‘come over and help us’ (Acts 16:9)
The Revd Andrew Mumford - Pastor

MissPossClick here to read more stories about how the money you give to Home Mission is being used to bring the love of God to communities around the country.

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