Perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but we are up to something quite unusual.
One of the defining features of Baptist churches is their independence. So the Baptist Union in this country might not be described as a denomination – rather as a members club. Literally, a union. We have no hierachy – no bishops, rural deans etc.
Now, I’m not here making a case for how wonderful this is. Like all structures – it has pros and cons. And whether it works well or not is not determined by the structre, but by the character of those within the structure.
What this congregational independence does mean is that if a Baptist Church gets into difficulties, there is no automatic mechanism for anyone outside stepping in to help. Now, in practice this does happen some times – and the BUs ‘Regional Ministers’ work very hard on behalf of lots of churches both small and large across the country.
CBC is part of a ‘cluster’ of Baptist Churches that stretch from Bibury in the east along the Stoud valley as far at Wotton under Edge. The pastors meet together fairly often to talk and pray. With 3 recent additions we now have full time ministers at Bibury, Cirencester, Chalford, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Wotton and Dursley. It’s a good season.
It came to our attention that one of the smaller churches in the area was having difficulties and the congregation were talking of closing down.
We thought that this should not be – and a community of the size of Kings Stanley should have a living expression of church, witnessing to the gospel.
So – a few of us have stepped in to take the reins – to prevent imminent closure, and to give us time to explore something new for the future of this church and community.
Please pray for the church (about 15-20 people), pray for the ‘steering group’ (the ministers at Stroud, Minchinhampton, one of the regional ministers and 2 of us from CBC). Above all pray for the future – pray for new leaders, new vision, the power of God, and a harvest in Kings Stanley.
If you’d like to get involved, then please get in touch.