Monday, 29 October 2007

A perfect son, a model family — so what made him run away?

Simon pointed out this article that he'd read in The Times last Saturday. It's a brave interview with Glenys and Kevin Gosden which is painfully honest. You can read it here and as it says Andrew's is an unusual case not merely for the length of time he has been missing, but also because there seems to be not the slightest clue explaining his decision to leave home.
If you think you have seen Andrew, call Missing People’s 24-hour, confidential Freefone service on 0500 700 700, or e-mail

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Prayer vigil for Andrew

Kevin, Andrew's dad who has commented here on a previous post, reports that sadly there is no further news about Andrew and their fears worsen as time goes by.

Their church is holding another day of fasting and prayer tomorrow with a prayer vigil from 6 to 7. He asks that if you are further afield to pray with them at that time.

So if you can, please do pray especially as Kevin describes how people's prayers and practical responses continue to encourage and touch them very much. Please also keep Linda and her family in your prayers too.

May God strengthen and bless them all at this time and bring Andrew home safely...

Youth Cafe @ Starbucks

This Friday (26th Oct) sees the next of the Youth Cafe nights at Starbucks, Bromley South.

A place for young people aged 13-19 to gather for coffee chat and a chill out time. Open 18.30-20.30

Monday, 22 October 2007

Can you help?

The church is opening its doors on Wednesday 28 November from 9.30am to 7.30pm for anyone who wants to pause and find stillness amongst the bustle of everyday life.

It's a global event and there's a dedicated website here.

There will be a sign up sheet available in the Welcome Area this coming Sunday if you are able to spare a couple of hours to help out by welcoming people and generally being around. Either that or let Simon know...

riding on the crest of a wave

Buoyed up by the response to the previous posts, I'm feeling confident to ask you for help.

As some of you may know I'm doing a bit of theology study and at the moment I'm looking at mission and the church.

For the next section I have to carry out some research in my own church. I have to ask how you respond to the following questions:
  • What is the primary task of the church?
  • What is the relationship between worship and mission?
  • Does God only work through the church to advance his mission?
  • Should we witness to people of other faiths? What challenges does this present to the church?

Please don't feel you have to answer here but I'd love to hear from you if you have any responses to any or all of the above. You can email me or grab me for a chat. I'll understand if you want to totally avoid me but any help at all would be great. It's all confidential and there are no right or wrong answers, just your opinions.


thanks for the feedback

Thanks to Lorna and Hazel for their wise and useful comments on the post about Halloween below.

It's great how these posts generate conversation. In church this week, I spoke to another mum who was concerned and suggested a party next year as an alternative. Also a home group had raised the issue and we'll probably continue the conversation in our family home group next time we meet.

The party could be along the lines of the family home group sessions where we bring food and play games on the church premises. It would certainly send out the message that Halloween's not something we celebrate (as well as getting away from the constantly ringing front door bell!)

I think it's a great idea so please keep them thoughts on this or anything else coming...

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I heard an interesting quote on Radio 2 Thought for the Day this morning, something we really could have a long hard look at. Apparently Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, "I don't like that man, I must get to know him." Could be we could make a difference if we took this on board.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Missing Andrew

This photograph is the last confirmed sighting of Andrew at Kings Cross. His family were on GMTV today to make a plea to anyone who might have seen him. You can read the full report here.

Andrew if you see this your Dad says "Please get in touch. We love you, we care about you desperately. Please let us know you are ok.''

Please continue to pray for Andrew and his family...

It's that time of year again...

"Mummy, why can't I have the pink and black witch's outfit?", "Mummy, why can't I go trick or treating? All my mates do." "Mum, are there really evil spirits?"

Yes it's Halloween time again and the questions from my three young children seem to get tougher the older they get.

Actually it's been 'Halloween' since about mid-September in every shop you could imagine. The costumes that used to terrify my kids are now only a source of amusement and evoke "Mummy, I'm going to be a werewolf." (Notice how they subtly stop asking coz they know what I'll say!)

Come November 1st it'll all be over, replaced by Christmas stuff but that's another story and a whole new set of questions.

So how should I respond to their questions and unfortunately avoidance tactics no longer work. I know there's quite a bit out there on the web (be careful what you google) to help, like from the Evangelical Alliance but from a personal point of view I find this a really tricky one. Halloween, by the way, is my birthday and I spent many a happy birthday party eating frogs' legs sandwiches and drinking purple witches' brew and later on down the local pub which always put on a great bash. Interestingly I never went trick or treating - that's a more recent and growing phenomenon or perhaps I'm older than I think?!

Do I accept it as a bit of fun or do I take a long hard look around at our country which is slowly and almost imperceptibly descending further and further into spiritual darkness and do something about it with the light of Christ that I know makes a difference and if so what?

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences about Halloween whether you have little ones or not and especially how you would respond to the tough questions they pose.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

café church

The next café church is on 21 October at 6:30pm:

Tesco ergo sum
I shop therefore I am

In a world where identities can be bought off the peg and we can change our identity as often as we change our clothes, who am I?

In a world where advertising tells us what we want and sweat shops produce it for us, who’s free?

In a world where celebrities define the good life, why are we all so anxious?

Lots to get our teeth into; come and join the conversation.
Tea, coffee, cakes, snacks, chat and provocation from 6:30pm

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Jonathan will be leading Alternative Wednesday this week and addressing the issue of self-esteem. These new-style meetings are held at the church and offer a multiple-choice of activities aimed at deepening our life together at Bromley Baptist.

Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm.

Sunday evening will be looking at the same issue so come along to both if you can...

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Andrew Gosden missing

Andrew Gosden
Age at disappearance: 14

Andrew has been missing from Doncaster, South Yorkshire since 14 September 2007. His current whereabouts remain unknown but it is thought he may have travelled to London.

There is great concern for Andrew due to his age. He can call the Runaway Helpline on Freefone 0808 800 7070 for confidential advice and support.

Andrew is 5ft 4ins tall, of slim build with collar length, light brown hair and brown eyes. It is thought Andrew will be wearing black jeans, a black T-shirt and black trainers. Andrew is likely to be carrying with him a black canvas satchel with patches of rock/metal bands on it.

Any information 0500 700 700
24 hour confidential Freephone service