Baptist Voice

“Baptist Voice” is the talking newspaper from the Baptist Men’s Movement. It contains a wide range of news from the Baptist Union, BMS World Mission, the Baptist Colleges and the wider Christian “scene”.

The reason I’m mentioning it here is that one of the members of our church, Ralph Birtwistle, has taken over production duties from Geoff Pratt and Gilbert Payne, who stepped down at the end of last year. Ralph’s managed to persuade a whole range of people to contribute to the new Baptist Voice (including some minister called Stephen…) to give it a fresh, new sound while hoping it stays true to the work Geoff, Gilbert and those who came before them, did to make it such an important and worthwhile part of the Baptist scene.

If you want to hear this month’s edition, then click here. And if you want any more information about Baptist Voice, then contact Ralph via our church email address,

Posted by Stephen in Baptist life, 0 comments

Online Advent resources

OK, this is about 5 days too late.  But, there’s tons of stuff that’s being blogged and generally published online during Advent.  Here’s four that might be of interest to people (anyone?) reading this blog:

  • 25thingsforadvent is a blog written by various Baptist writers.  There’ll be an entry each day with “25 things to do to mark the season of advent”.
  • The Congregational Federation are having an “Advent Adventure“.  There’s a whole series of ideas here, from an Advent Twitter feed, to ideas posted on the social site pintrest to a weekly reflection.
  • Catriona Gorton (who spent time with us as a student minister (I think!) at Greenfield) is blogging a reflection every day throughout Advent.
  • Finally, Richard Kidd, newly-retired co-principal of Northern Baptist Learning Community and former minister of Greenfield Church is also blogging a daily reflection at his blog.

Click on the links in that lot and hopefully there’ll be something to help guide you through the rest of Advent and prepare you for the wonder of Christmas.

Posted by Stephen in Web links, 0 comments

Baptist Assembly 2012

(Blatant plug alert!)

Over on my other blog, there’s a post with my (rather lengthy!) reflections on this year’s Baptist Assembly.  As they were personal opinions, it seemed best to put them there.  On here, this week (hopefully!) I’ll post some more thoughts about what went on that I hope will be of relevance to our church.  So stay tuned!

Posted by Stephen in Baptist life, Blog news, 0 comments

Beyond 400

Beyond 400 is a new site that started properly yesterday.  It’s a place for all the discussions about the future of Baptists in Great Britain (and especially BUGB), a conversation that has become especially significant following BUGB’s realisation that it may have a significant deficit in its finances.

There’s only one post on there at the moment (along with comments, such as those by some minister called Stephen…), but it’s already looking like some very thought-provoking ideas will be appearing there as time goes on.  So, if anyone’s reading this blog and is interested in our wider Baptist life, then it’s definitely worth keeping tabs on the developing conversation(s) there.

Posted by Stephen in Baptist life, 0 comments

Baptist Assembly

Well, we’re back from the Baptist Assembly in Bournemouth – and what a fantastic time it was!  It was great meeting with so many others, sharing stories (even if only in the “how far did you come?” type) and worshipping together.  Those who spoke, both at the big events and the smaller seminars, were inspiring, encouraging and challenging.  I’ll post more throughout the week as I get my head around it.  But I was intrigued (and slightly surpised) to find an interview with Jonathan Edwards, the General Secretary of the BUGB, posted on the BBC News website on Friday.  If you want to read it, it’s here.

Posted by Stephen in events, Misc., 0 comments

Baptist Union Assembly

As we mentioned during Sharing on SUnday, we won’t be around this weekend, because we’re in Bournemouth.  Not because of a holiday (though we’re hoping for some sun…), but because it’s the Baptist Union Assembly.

And it’s an important one as well.  This year has been chosen as the year to mark the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first Baptist congregations.  Clearly, this is a significant milestone and the whole Assembly is geared around this; the title is “Who do we think we are”, exploring our identity as Baptists, where we’ve come from and where we’re going to.

It should be a good weekend – and it’s our first BU Assembly, so we’re not quite sure what to expect.  There’s childcare for Amy in the mornings, when the main business meetings are, but none in the afternoon when the seminars are on.  Also, there’s evening worship times but we’ll need to work out childcare for those as well. But between us, we hope to sample something of the Assembly.  And no doubt it’ll be a very weary Smith family that wend their weary way back to Urmston on Bank Holiday Monday…

Please pray, not just for us, but for everyone attending that as we celebrate this important milestone, we’ll gain a new sense of what it means to be Baptist and how that affects us as we seek to serve God and each other.

I’ll make sure I report back when we return!

Posted by Stephen in Misc., 0 comments