Friday, 28 March 2008

Baptist Assembly, Blackpool

The annual gathering of our Baptist family is from Friday 2 May to Monday 5 May. This year it is enlivened by the fact that our own Brian Reed will be recognised as a fully accredited Baptist minister at the National Mission Evening. If you would like to go, it is not too late to book and the church would help to cover some of your costs if you go as our delegate. More information here and from Simon.

Monday, 24 March 2008

festival of the nations

Sunday 27 April 4.45pm -9.00pm

Come along to a special afternoon and evening of music, teaching and feasting:

At Sunday Break The African Kidzsing choir from Johannesburg, South Africa will be singing and Simon will be preaching on Shoved by the Spirit from Acts 21:15-26.

After that we’ll be sharing food from around the world together and then at around 7.00pm we are hosting a concert with Gareth Davies-Jones who will be launching his new album Water & Light.

There’ll also be a fair-trade stall, including wonderful fruit juices from Colombia. More details will be posted in the bulletin nearer the time. Bring your friends to some or all of what promises to be an exciting and enriching evening.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Six months on

March 14 marked six months since Andrew Gosden disappeared. Sport Relief 2008 are supporting the charity 'Missing People' and on YouTube there is a short video with Matt Dawson interviewing Kevin and Glenys, Andrew's parents.

Please watch it, share it, and continue to pray for Andrew and the whole family.

Passion reviews

I hope you've managed to catch BBC's The Passion. I know I've been riveted - the tension is palpable and I'm looking forward to the concluding episodes. They are on Good Friday at 9.00pm and Easter Sunday at 7.30pm. Of course we'd rather you came along with some friends to discuss the issues at the Easter Sunday services at 4.45pm and 7.00pm.

In case you haven't seen any of it, Episode 1 and Episode 2 are available for a few more days on BBC iPlayer and there's now lots of stuff on the BBC website including some interesting articles. Quite a few are written by Mark Goodacre, Associate Professor of New Testament in the Religion Department at Duke University and historical consultant for the series. He has helpfully done a round up of the reviews which you can read here on his blog.

Simon has also posted his views over on his blog. Feel free to let us know what you think here or better still see you Sunday.

Meanwhile a very happy Easter to you all...

Update on Algerian Christians Facing Sentencing

I recieved this update today from VOM...

In February, Middle East Concern (MEC) requested prayer from Christians around the world on behalf of Christians facing court hearings and awaiting official verdicts in Algeria (see

On March 4, they requested prayer for three items. First, one Christian brother had a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 5. The believer concerned had been told informally that he would be sentenced to one year in prison and fined. On March 6, MEC happily reported that he had been acquitted. According to MEC, two other items require your prayers. The written verdicts for three Christian men accused of insulting Islam was expected on February 12 but has still not been received. They have been told informally that they will be sentenced to prison and fined. Another brother has a hearing scheduled for April 2. Christians in Algeria ask that we continue to pray that our three brothers awaiting a written verdict will not be sentenced to jail and that the brother involved in the hearing on April 2 will be acquitted. Please pray that the media attention will have a positive impact on the church, drawing more people to respond to the love and truth of Jesus. Pray also that fellowships recently closed in Algeria will be allowed to reopen and that believers will find worship and fellowship with others. Pray that God will provide pastors for the groups of Christian migrant workers in the country. Finally, pray that Algerian officials will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and respond to His love.Go to to learn more about the increasing pressure being put on Christians in Algeria.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The Passion Schedule

Watch the series through the week, then come along and talk about it on Sunday evening. Here's the schedule...

Episode One Sunday 16 March 8.00pm - 9.00pm, BBC1
Episode Two Monday 17 March 8.30pm - 9.00pm, BBC1
Episode Three Friday 21 March 9.00pm - 10.00pm, BBC1
Episode Four Sunday 23 March time 7.30pm - 8.00pm, BBC1

Episodes 1-3 omnibus: Sunday 23 March, 2.15pm - 4.40pm, BBC1

More details about each episode can be found on the BBC website here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

BBC's The Passion

We have been in talks with the BBC today! In response to an email asking permission to use images from BBC's The Passion, Tim Leith phoned and sent over some images for us to use to publicise the programme. Thank you if you read this Tim...

He also sent a link to some flickr images which you can see here.
Please do watch the series, details here in preparation for Easter Sunday and any conversations you might have with people.

Image copyright BBC

On a mission to help people on the streets

There's some good publicity for Street Pastors this week in the Newshopper, which focuses particularly on the Beckenham Team - there's an article which you can read here (or in the paper of course) and the lead letter is also on the same subject.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Everyone welcome

image copyright BBC

will the real Jesus please stand up?
Following the BBC’s excellent and intriguing retelling of the events of the first Easter, come and talk about who Jesus is, what these events mean for us in 2008.
On Easter Sunday:
At 4:45pm there’ll be a presentation on the Jesus of the gospels wrapped in a service full of familiar Easter hymns.
At 7:00pm, we’ll be having an interactive forum on issues raised by the programme and the gospels – who is Jesus? Are the gospels true? What does it mean to follow him in 2008?

Come and join the conversation. Bring a friend.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Passion schedule

In the run up to Easter the BBC is screening a 4-part series called The Passion. The first two programmes are due to run on Sunday 16 March from 8:00-9:00pm and on Monday 17 March from 8:30pm-9:00pm. The final two episodes will be screened on 22 and 23 March at times to be announced.

We’ll be focusing on issues raised in this series at two guest services on Easter Day. Invite your friends. There are now full details on the BBC website with information about the cast and interviews with the director and others involved in making the series.

Special invitation cards will be available next week so you can invite your friends and neighbours to our special services at 4:45pm and 7pm.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


I receive a bi-monthly prayer alert from Release International which we are encouraged to share with our church and home groups etc. This time there is a request for prayer for Algeria and so I've posted it here.

Christians in Algeria report a concerted campaign to rein in the church as the government starts to use laws limiting evangelism.

At least seven house churches have been closed down in recent months. And several believers have been formally charged under legislation that has lain dormant for two years. Newspapers have published false claims that churches ‘pay’ their members for converts.
Within the last week, a source told RI that the authorities were not renewing residency visas for foreign church workers.

RI’s sources believe that the government is yielding to pressure from Muslim leaders to use laws which were adopted in March 2006 but never implemented. The laws forbid anyone from trying to ‘shake the faith of a Muslim’ and order non-Muslims to register all buildings used for worship. Penalties include heavy fines or up to five years in jail.

One of the first to be convicted under this law was a French pastor given a one-year suspended prison sentence in Oran in January. His crime: praying with Cameroonian immigrants at a private home not registered for worship. His co-defendant, a Muslim doctor, was sentenced to two years in jail for giving the immigrants medicine provided by a church.

Three Algerian Christians, awaiting sentence for ‘insulting Islam’, have been told to expect a three-year jail term. And at least two other Christians are due to stand trial over the next two months. Christians make up less than one per cent of Algeria’s population of 33 million.

• Ask God to strengthen the faith of Algerian Christians who are under pressure.
• Pray that charges against Christians tried in the coming months will be dropped.

Sources: Assist News Service; CBN News; China Aid; Christian Solidarity Worldwide; Christian Today; Compass Direct; International Christian Concern; International Crisis Group; Jubilee Campaign USA: The Voice of the Martyrs Canada.


Sunday, 2 March 2008


I've been searching for some images for The Passion series from the BBC for the web and I keep coming across this picture of Andrew still missing. Please pray especially for Glenys, his mum, and the whole family on this Mother's Day. Thanks.

The Passion

In Holy Week the BBC is running a series called The Passion, dramatising the events of the first Easter. It starts Sunday 16th March 2008 on BBC1. We'll be focussing on issues raised in the series at two guest services on Easter Day. Invite your friends. There are now full details on the BBC website with information about the cast and interviews with the director and others involved in making the series.

Special invitation cards will be coming soon so you can invite your friends and neighbours to our special services at 4.45pm and 7pm.

Happy belated blogversary

I've just been reading Hazel's blog and it is a year old - congratulations on keeping up such an entertaining blog, Hazel. I've said it before here but it has a real community feel to it and even I feel I know some of the people who visit frequently and leave comments.

It made me realise that this blog must be about the same age and yes, it is around a year ago that this one got going...