All our latest news…

Christmas 2021

A Time to Remember

5th December 5pm
A service of reflection for all those who have lost loved ones in the last 2 years.

Powerhouse Nativity

12th December 10am

Carols by Candlelight

19th December 4.30pm & 6.30pm
This year we are holding two carol services, the first at 4.30pm will have an emphasis on families, including activities for younger age children. Both services will be followed by refreshments.

Booking essential, please use the buttons below to book

4:30 pm

6:30 pm

Christmas Day Celebration

25th December 10am
Children, please bring a present to show us.

26th December – No services

New Year Communion Service

2nd January 10am


Our services will return to normal from the 9th of January. We do hope to see you back in person in 2022. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Youth, Children’s and Students Newsletter November 2021


It’s been a while, actualy it’s been far too long
since I last wrote a Newsletter! I plan to do
these every term going forward to keep you
all updated on the work the Church does with
the young people in our community.


Youth groups
Since starting back in September both our youth groups (Flip Flop’s on Tuesday and Un Baja on Wednesday) have been a place of laughter, fun, learning and a sense of deepeining relationships amogst the young people who attend. Both groups are supported by fantastic leaders who give up their evening to come and be a blessing to our young people.


Over the summer with no festivals to go along to we held a youth group hunted event towards the end of the holidays, have you ever watched the channel 4 show Hunted? it’s like a massive wide game that we play across the whole of the Sevenoaks area. We had a great day and was a really nice way to end the holidays. For our younger group at Flip Flop’s we held a weekend at home at the end of July just before schools broke up. We had kids camping out in the Church and we headed out on day trips to Carroty Wood and Bexhill as well as a treasure hunt in town. Graham Marchant kindly let us use one his fields to hold a huge bonfire on our opening night, Graham came and shared his testimony and we had a fantastic time. It was all around a brilliant weekend that I hope will live long in the memory of our young people who could make it.

More recently we took our older group out for an end of term meal in town, we had loads of fun and good conversations. There really is something special that happens when you sit down for a meal with people.

Working with our young people across both these groups continues to be a real source of
joy for me, even if it means sleeping on a cold hard floor! They are kind, funny, thoughtfull,
self aware and quick to encourage and look after others. I’m looking forward to the festive period with our groups, we have a few trips planned and I hope to watch Elf with them at least 3 times!


Children
It was lovely to head downstairs into the back hall and see Baby Plus back in the swing of things in mid-September. Sarah Potter and her team do a fantastic job of running the group which has been so successful for so many years now. Sarah also runs a number of groups for children with ASD, supporting both the children and the parents. Powerhouse started back again in September, it was amazing to see the children again, wow they have grown! We have an amazing team of dedicated leaders who run Powerhouse each week, without them we would not be able to offer anything like this, thank you. Powerhouse are currently learning about Joshua and will soon move onto learning about King David before the Christmas Nativity rehearsals begin!


Schools
I deeply missed schools work over the past year or so, myself Charlie and Andy made video assemblies for the schools during lockdowns but it’s not the same as having 300 children screaming at you at a face to face assembly! Myself and Charlie were able to take our first in person assembly at Amherst a few weeks ago and we have a few more coming up over the next term or so. I have been able to start the Girls football club again at Amherst, we have our first tournament next week! Back in March this year I had the privilege of becoming an Amherst school Governor, it has been a steep learning curve getting used to all the jargon. I’ve been asked to sit on the staff and pupil welfare committee and have taken on the role of Governor with responsibility for R.E within the life of the school.

Students
We are blessed to have such a large and healthy student group at BGBC, just this year we had 8 young people heading of for their first year! We try to meet on Zoom once a term and have in person meetups when they are back for the holidays. A lot of the students who headed off this September were just starting in year 7 when I first started my role, makes me feel super old but a real privilege to have journeyed with them to this point.


Prayer points

  • Please pray for all of our students as
    they continue in their studies,
    especially that if they choose to they
    will find a Church to settle in while
    they’re away.
  • For our young people who have been
    and continue to have life disrupted
    due to necessary Covid isolation
    periods. Pray that in the confusion
    and disruption they will know the
    peace and comfort of God.
  • For our youth groups, that they will
    continue to be a place where our
    young people feel like they belong
    and are loved. For them to know
    God’s love for them in what can often
    be turbulent teenage years.

Please pray for our leaders across all
our youth and children’s work, we give thanks that we are so blessed to have so many amazing leaders who serve our young people. Please pray that they will know how much they’re often unseen work is valued.


Short thought
I was at the Valley at the weekend watching the mighty Charlton finally win a game! I was chatting to the bloke next to me, he said it was his first time back since the pandemic started, “I’ve missed it so much, it’s like coming home” You get a real sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself when you support a team. As a young person
myself I had the same feeling when I attended youth groups at BGBC, it’s so important growing up to feel like you are a part of something bigger than just yourself, it’s a huge part of how we form our identity and vital to our growth. It’s my hope and prayer that at BGBC our young people feel the same way I did when I was growing up here.

Josh Amott- Youth, Children’s and Student
worker

Summer Services 2021

A reminder of the details of our summer services this year. We are planning for a full return to the new normal from the 5th of September.

In Our Darkest Night


The Evangelism Team would like to challenge all the ladies to watch the virtual breakfast with Hettie Brittz (if you haven’t yet) and then do three things starting with the letter P:

– Pass the link on to a friend  – https://youtu.be/pC8w2gGAy2w

– Pray for that friend

– Put the kettle on (which of course means – follow up with a conversation and a coffee, or even just a whatsapp)

Hettie Brittz’s testimony is chock-full of first hand experiences of the goodness of God. It continues to be a powerful reminder of Christ’s presence, even in our darkest moments and shows how His grace and forgiveness stretch so much further than we can ever imagine. I’ve found that sharing Hettie’s story with a friend can open the door to a deeper conversation in which questions about church and forgiveness flow naturally. It may even lead to an opportunity to share our own story with a friend.

Coretta shares: “I really believe God will be touching your heart through Hettie Brittz or her husband’s music. For me, it was just one word that sprang into my own personal story: Fingerprints….and gave me new hope. For me, it was not the miracle, it was just the simple fact that Jesus reminded me of him being with me in the darkest times of my life…and that he is still with me in the (very long) process of healing.

Watch it …and if you were touched, then don’t miss the opportunity to share it with someone you love.”

With warm wishes

Marilie and Coretta

Release International Events in May and June

All Out For God: Take your shoes off – it’s time to go outside!

This Sunday, May 30, Release International has organised a special online event where you can hear from guests who know first-hand what it’s like to suffer persecution for their faith. Sharing a message with us in a Facebook Live event starting at 3pm (also on YouTube) will be Susanna Koh, whose husband, pastor Raymond Koh, was abducted four years ago in Malaysia and who is still missing, and also Release friends Petr Jasek and Helen Berhane. Petr was imprisoned in Sudan, sharing a cell with Islamic State fighters, while Helen spent two years in an Eritrean prison, suffering abuse and torture, simply for proclaiming the gospel. After hearing from our guests, we’ll head outdoors – barefoot! – to pray for our persecuted family. Yes, this year Release is asking you to go outside in your bare feet – to show your solidarity with those who sacrifice so much for the name of Christ. More information and how you can take part is available here:  https://releaseinternational.org/all-out-for-god/

Christians in Parliament and Release International: National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021 Online

Release International would be pleased if you could join them at the 2021 National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Online, which will be livestreamed on Friday 25 June from 8:00-8:45am. The theme this year is Life Beyond Covid: A Renewed Hope. The main speaker is The Rt Revd Professor NT Wright. The event will include prayers led by parliamentarians, hymns led by special guest singers and the keynote address. Following the breakfast event, Christians in Parliament principle partner Bible Society will be hosting a webinar for church leaders from 10:00-11:00am, titled Re-imagining Mission, and this will be followed by a programme of webinars hosted by partners from 11:00am-3:00pm. Release International will be hosting an online Zoom meeting as part of the webinar programme, entitled Blessed are those who are Persecuted: Hearing Christian Voices from around the World from 1pm to 2pm on that day hosted by the Revd Imtiaz Ashraf. Our special guest partners include Pastor Eric Foley from Voice of the Martyrs Korea, Dr Berhane Asmelash from Release Eritrea and Revd Hassan John, Release partner in Nigeria, who will be sharing about their work with our persecuted family. More information and how you can take part is available here: https://releaseinternational.org/breakfast

Day of the Christian Martyr

Release International is planning a very special online service on June 29th to commemorate the Day of the Christian Martyr. This online event will start at 7.30pm and is expected to run for approximately one hour. Please do join for what promises to be a moving and inspirational evening as we remember those of our Christian family who have paid the ultimate price for following Christ. There will be a special contribution from Release partner Revd Waseem in Pakistan who recently interviewed relatives of the victims of the 2016 Lahore park bomb blast. More information and how you can take part is available here: https://releaseinternational.org/docm/

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Sponsor a child and change a life

Sponsor a child today and give them critical support during COVID-19 and beyond. Child sponsorship
with Compassion is an opportunity to provide a child with food, clean water, shelter, clothing and
medical care during the Coronavirus crisis.


Children in poverty are disproportionately impacted by global pandemics like COVID-19, so your
sponsorship of £28 a month is more important than ever before.
Watch this video to see how big the impact of sponsorship is on a child’s life.


If you want to sponsor a child, please use the QR code below.


However, if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact either Coretta Vogelberg on
07771643976 or Dora Hanson Amissah on 07734 622015 or by email to: doraha@compassionuk.org
or simply look at their website:

https://www.compassionuk.org/faqs/why-are-the-questions-i-ask-in-my-letters-not-answered/

https://www.compassionuk.org/blogs/letter-writing-questions-answered

We thank you for…

In our prayer for others on Sunday, Jessica Kennedy reminded us to be thankful for all the good gifts God has given us. When life returns to a ‘new normal’, let us not take these things for granted.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father

As we look to the future and our world opening up again, we remember and give you thanks for all the joys and adventures in life that make it so fulfilling.

We thank you for theatres and cinemas, and the opportunity to escape into drama and another world.

We thank you for music, – for concerts, gigs, opera and festivals. For singing along (loudly and badly) to our favourite songs or getting lost in the splendour of classical works.

We thank you for museums and art galleries, for our history that they show us and remind us of and the beauty they preserve.

We thank you for zoos and aquariums, for the excitement of seeing bizarre and often unimaginable creatures, and for the work they do in conserving species and educating us.

We thank you for play activities, for trampoline parks and soft play, for laser tag and paintball, for the fun we can have with our friends and children playing together.

We thank you for sports, both indoor and outdoor, for swimming and gyms and rugby and football, golf and tennis, croquet and jousting. We thank you for the exercise for our bodies and the chance to play with teammates.

We thank you for pubs and restaurants, for the opportunity for a pint after work or a family lunch. We thank you for proper chips.

We thank you for the opportunities to go on holiday, to fly on aeroplanes to far flung lands or take the train to the coast.

We thank you for freezing British sandcastles and cerulean blue warm foreign seas.

We thank you for city explorations or jungle adventures, for snow-drenched mountains or boating escapades. For the chance to experience new cultures or discover hidden British secrets, and mostly to spend quality relaxed time with those we love.

We thank you for friends and family, for hugs and laughter and love, for meals together and birthday celebrations and joyous weddings. For dinner parties and burnt barbecues, game nights and date nights. For popping out for a coffee or over to your mum’s. For popping anywhere.

We thank you for our church, and the opportunity to meet together to worship you and support each other in body and spirit. And to raise our voices together in song to your glory.

Lord God, in a world filled with more suffering perhaps than in any recent living memory, we pray your hand on all those who need comfort. And we remember your beloved son Jesus, who suffered with us, and died so that our suffering need not be boundless or endless.

We give you thanks for all the good things we are missing and we thank you for the hope and certainty we have in Christ, that all these good things will return. We pray that until that day comes that we will be sustained in strength, physically, emotionally and mentally over the remaining weeks and months.

In Jesus name we pray,

Amen

[Photo: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash]

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