Thursday Thoughts: Greenfield Church’s 40th Anniversary

Thursday Thoughts is a new weekly series where, each Thursday, I’ll share something that’s going on in my head that I hope will be helpful for you. Hope you enjoy – please share your thoughts in the comments!

We’re nearing the end of a hugely hectic spring and summer of celebrations of our 40th anniversary; 40 years since Urmston Baptist & Congregational Churches became Greenfield Church! Continue reading →

Posted by Stephen in Greenfield Events, Thoughts and musings, Thursday Thoughts, 0 comments

Urmston’s Favourite Carol

Hello, it’s me again – long time, no blog!

We at Greenfield Church want to end the Christmas season with a bang, not a whimper.  So we want as many people in Urmston as possible to help us find Urmston’s Favourite Carol!

Throughout December, we want you to nominate your top 3 Christmas carols.  Over Christmas itself, we’ll collate all the results.  Then, at our special service on Sunday 5 January, we’ll announce the top 5 and reveal what Urmston’s Favourite Carol is.

Here’s how you can vote for your favourite:

  1. By post: Write down your top 3 and post them to Greenfield Church, Primrose Avenue, Urmston, M41 0TY, marking your envelope “Urmston’s Favourite Carol”;
  2. By email: Send your top 3 in an email to, putting “Urmston’s Favourite Carol” in the subject line.

Your vote needs to be with us by Christmas Eve to be counted.

So what will it be?  Hark The Herald Angels Sing?  Away In a Manger?  Silent Night?  Vote now and join us on January 5th to discover Urmston’s Favourite Carol and give this Christmas a special send-off.

PS Don’t forget Greenfield Church is now on Twitter!  Follow us using @GfieldChurch.  Can you fit your vote for Urmston’s Favourite Carol into one tweet?

Posted by Stephen in events, Greenfield Events, 0 comments

Education Sunday

On 5 February, Churches Together in England marks Education Sunday, a “national day of prayer and celebration for everyone involved in the world of education”.  As part of this, our service at Greenfield that Sunday will be somewhat different.

We’ve written to six local schools inviting their teaching staff to come to our service.  This will then be a chance to show our support as a church for these people who do such an incredible, difficult and pressurised job.  Over the last year or so we’ve had good contacts with the children from the local infant school which has been an immense pleasure and privilege.  But we want to show that we care about the teachers as well as the children.  Hence this service.

So please come along to the service, at the usual time on Sunday 5 February.  Please pray for the service, that teachers will want to come, that it will be a valuable way of showing our support as a church and God’s love for them, and that I won’t get tongue-tied talking to a church full (hopefully!) of teachers.  And, if you can, try and bring a memory of your favourite teach – what made him or her so special, how did they inspire you?

Posted by Stephen in Greenfield Events, Sunday services, 0 comments

Hello, it’s me

… I’m back.  Many apologies for not having blogged here in agggeeesss, but hoping to correct that now with a sort of quick summary of stuff that you might want to know (mainly/especially if you’re a Greenfield church member – a Greenfielder?)

Firstly, Northern Baptist Learning Community (formerly Northern Baptist College, where I study) are posting throughout Advent some readings and prayers.  The idea of this is to encourage all those linked with the Learning Community to be praying together throughout Advent.  The prayers and readings are on the front page of the site, and there are links to the readings from the New Revised Standard Version.

Secondly, did you know that the UK is the only country in Europe to lock up the children of asylum seekers?  Most of these are under 5s and none have committed any crime.  A group of MPs recently criticised the government for this and the lack of definite figures or information on the children’s welfare.

The Joint Public Issues Team, a group set up jointly by the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church to campaign and bring a Christian voice to issues such as this, is calling on all those who feel strongly about this to send One More Christmas Card to Phil Woolas MP, the minister for immigration.  These cards are to wish him a happy Christmas but also to call on him to end this practice.  Full details of what to do are on the website.

Thirdly, as I mentioned on Sunday, our Carol Service this year is going to be on Saturday 19th December.  The idea behind this is to make it possible for as many people as possible to come to the service.  As part of this, could you think of someone you’d like to invite?  If you invited someone to Back To Church Sunday in September, why not invite them to the Carol Service?  I hope there’ll be some invitations available from Sunday for you to take, so please do take one (or more!) and help make this a really special, community event.

Finally, you may have been expecting me to be preaching on Sunday, particularly if you’ve a copy of the rota.  However, it’s not; Ralph has very, very kindly offered to take the service so that I can get on with the essay that’s looming large on the horizon and also begin getting the Christmas services I’m taking ready.  So that’s why it won’t be more; I’m not shirking – honest!!

Posted by Stephen in events, Greenfield Events, 0 comments

Holiday time…

As I mentioned on Sunday, the Smith family is making it’s great adventure down south for a week and a bit on Saturday.  We’ll miss you while we’re away and hope you enjoy what Ralph and Bob Cartledge have to say over the next two Sundays.

While we’re away, though, please please don’t forget Back to Church Sunday!  Please remember to think and pray about who you’re going to invite on September 27 and then bring back your pledge cards so we get an idea of how many visitors we’re going to have.

And please be praying for the day itself.  There’s a lot to plan and not a lot of timne to do it in.  Be thinking and praying about what we do as a church: are we as welcoming as we’d like to be?  What do we do in our services that will help people feel welcome and encounter God?  What might we need to change or do differently?

I’m open to any ideas: drop a note through my door, send me an e-mail, leave a comment on this blog (and remember you can respond to any of the posts on this blog) or bend my ear when we get back.  I can’t promise we’ll do everything, but I hope together we can make those who are coming to church on that day to feel welcome and comfortable – welcome and comfortable enough to join us again and again.

And we’ll see you when we get back!

Posted by Stephen in Greenfield Events, Sunday services, 0 comments

This Sunday – 2 August

First of all, welcome to the new blog!  Hope you like it and the new look (for which I can take no credit!)

This Sunday will be a little different from most.  As it’s our Communion service, we’re going to be thinking about Communion itself: why it’s important, what’s so special about it.  As I’ve said during the last two Sundays, it’d be great if you could come having thought aboust some of these things for yourself: not just the “right” answers, but what you think.  The text for this will be the passage which includes the words of institution we say during every Communion service: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

Also, don’t be shocked if the church is set out slightly differently!

Secondly, we’re going to be thinking about Back To Church Sunday.  I did talk about this at the Church Meeting last week, but I know a lot of you couldn’t be there; plus, the technology let us down!  Hopefully that’ll all be up and running for Sunday (you don’t escape that easily!), so we should be able to watch a short DVD and have a think about what this important Sunday is all about.  I’ll hopefully put up some more information on thios blog as well – so eyes peeled!

Posted by Stephen in Sunday services, 0 comments

This Sunday

Just a reminder about what’s happening this Sunday.  At 6pm, we’ve our joint service with the other churches from Churches Together in Urmston.  This is happening outside, in the car park – so pray for sunshine!!  It’ll be followed by a family barbecue.  It should be a great sertvice; Ralph has been working really hard on it and has managed to get the Salvation Army band to come and play for us (I think the offer of food helped!), so it’s definitely something to look forward to.

See you there!

Because of this, we’re not having our normal 10:45 service.  So if you turn up to church then, you’ll be the only one.  Instead, Ralph is leading a Communion service at 9:30, so try and be there for that.

I’ve was going round the houses around church yesterday giving out invitations to people in the area to come.  And what surprised me was that most, if not all, people were very pleased to be given an invitation to come.  I hope as many as possible of them do come.  But even if they don’t, it’s just refreshing that people weren’t openly hostile towards the idea of being invited to a church service.  I think we can get a bit paranoid about how people see us and I was definitely nervous before going out yesterday.  But I think if we give the impression that we’re not out to judge or condemn people, but that we actually quite like them and want to show them something incredibly positive – the love of God shown through Christ – then we’ve perhaps a little less to fear than we might think.

I don’t think this means everything will be plain sailing and people will always respond positively to what we say – Jesus certainly didn’t promise us that.  But it’s good that people are open to this and willing to give us a chance.

Posted by Stephen in Greenfield Events, Sunday services, 0 comments

Discussion group on Thursday

Just a quick reminder that on Thursday, I’m hoping you’ll be able to come round to my house to take part in a discussion I’m holding as part of my studies.  We’ll be looking at the issue of how society views children and young people: are they seen as a threat, a nuisance or something more positive?  Hopefully we’ll also be thinking about how we as Christians can address these issues.

If you want to come, it’s at 8pm on Thursday at my house.  You don’t need any specialist knowledge and I won’t be judging you on your opinions: free thinking is welcome!  You’ll also be helping me (again!) in my studies – which I’ll be very grateful for!

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Posted by Stephen in events, 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


Hi!  I’m Stephen, Minister-In-Training at Greenfield Church and welcome to my blog!  I hope to keep this up-to-date with all my news (or at least the bits that you’ll find interesting and/or useful), thoughts about the passages I’ll be preaching on and anything else that crosses my mind as being interesting.  As you can tell from this, it may well get a bit rambling, but I’ll tryand keep my thoughts in check!

At the moment, I’m preparing for the session we’re having on March 29th on “Using the Bible to enhance your prayer life”.  This comes out of oneof the modules I’m studying on “Encountering and Responding to Christ”, but I hope it’ll be something that catches people’s imaginations and helps to enhance and enrich their prayer lives.  So if you’ve nothing on that afternoon, then please join us – it’ll definitely be a good Sunday afternoon!

Posted by Stephen in Greenfield Events, 0 comments