All our latest news…
Free Family Fun Day and Celebration! All are Welcome!
On the 14th of September 2019, Bessels Green Baptist Church will be 250 years old and we are hosting a weekend of events to celebrate our birthday.
On Saturday the 14th of September, from 2pm to 4.30pm, we are hosting a Free Family Fun Day on Bessels Green, TN13 2PS. There will be bouncy castles, donkey rides, ice creams, tea, coffee, cakes, stalls, music and much, much more.
On Sunday the 15th of September, at 10am, we are holding a special Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving. The service will be followed by a buffet lunch. We are delighted to have author, amateur historian and comedian Nick Page as our speaker. You are very welcome to join us as we worship together and give thanks to God for 250 years. If you’re not a regular at BGBC it would help us if you could please send us email and let us know that you’re coming.
Read more about it here: https://bgbc.co.uk/2019/06/11/bgbc-to-celebrate-250-years/
160 people came along on Friday 7th June to hear Julian Speroni talk about his career in football and his faith in Christ.
He was interviewed by Matt Baker from Christians in Sport and during a full hour answered questions posed by Matt and by members of the audience.
When did he first come to faith? How did he get chosen for Crystal Palace? What was his most memorable save? How hard is it to be a Christian in the competitive world of Premier League football?
Julian dealt with all these questions (and many more) with openness and humour confirming that he wants to continue to play football at a high level.
Afterwards he spent time posing for selfies with fans and generously signing autographs on cards, photos, T-shirts and even a pair of football boots.
The evening attracted many visitors who had never been to our church before and an encouraging number came as invited guests with church friends.
I am sure visitors felt very welcomed – and delighted by the enormous spread of food provided by many members of our congregation!
Marking the change to your community church
In the last edition of this magazine we explained that, after 14 years of being involved in village activities, at Dunton Green Faithworks we now see ourselves as the Christian community church in the village.
To demonstrate this when we meet, we decided to have a banner and this has been made by a small group of local ladies over the last 6 months.
The banner was designed after talking to local people about how they see and understand Faithworks – ‘welcoming, family, community, fun, sharing, food, everyone’ were some of the words we were given. These were incorporated in the design and set in the context of Dunton Green as a place – its countryside, roads and railway.
From 12th May 2019 the banner will be up in the pavilion whenever Faithworks meets on Sunday mornings – at Family Fun on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, and at our Café for discussion on the first Sunday, all from 10am.
We hope you will be encouraged to come and join us, to share the welcome we offer and to enjoy a relaxed time with members of the community.
visit our Facebook page: fb.me/dgfaithworks
or see our website: www.dgmessage.com
Youth and Children’s Newsletter April 19
WHOOPS! Its been around 5 months since I last wrote an update on our youth and childrens work at the Church, here we go….
One of the things that we have been trying to do more of over the past term or so is to encourage our young people to lead. We have had young people lead sessions on a wide variety of topics from philosopy to Bible studies on the book of Revelation. I guess this was most obvious to you when our young people led the recent all age service on Mothering Sunday. I was so proud of all of them and I’m sure you will agree that they did a great job. I know they are keen to do it again.
In recent months we have been on a trip to Bluewater to do a photo hunt and some of the young people cooked for us at our group meal. We finished our term with our annual epic Easter egg hunt which involved over 200 eggs!
One of the greatest privilieges in my role is being able to journey with young people as they explore faith, baptism as part of that journey is always a highlight. At our Easter baptisimal sercie we had the joy of baptising 3 of our young people.
At youth group last term we asked the young people to come up with a set of values for the group that will inform how we behave, this is what they came up with.
They wanted youth group to be a place where all felt welcome and included and could experience community. A place where we listen to each other and take on the views of other people, a place where they could grow in faith and take part in interesting and challenging discussions and of course a place where they can have fun and relax.
As you know we are privileged to have a brilliant team who make all of our different children and baby groups run. Thank you so much for the way you serve in each group, it’s truly a blessing. Last term in Powerhouse we studied the creation story and the book of Exodus. The Children loved learning about creation through fun interactive stories and craft.
I would like to take this chance to announce some exciting news! By the Beach, our children’s trip away, will run this year from 12th-13th October, bookings will be open very shortly, watch this space!
Myself, Charlie and Andy continue to regularly take assemblies at the local schools. Alongside doing assemblies I’m involved in a number of different ways across the schools in Sevenoaks. This involves a variety of activities that happen on a weekly basis. A breakfast club at Dunton Green, lunch club at Trinity and Girls football at Amherst are the regular weekly groups that I’m involved in. It has been great over the past few months to have some really deep chats about faith with young people who attend some of these groups.
In the term ahead of us we have a number of exciting things happening. The youth will be having a Knole park games evening, a Desert Island Discs evening, finishing the term with a big summer BBQ. In our sessions this term we will be doing the youth version of Fruitfulness on the Frontline.
For the last time ever we will be heading off to Soul Survivor in the summer (Soul Survivor is ending this summer). We have nearly 30 young people signed up for this year!
As I mentioned earlier on the 12th-13th October we will be running “By the Beach” Look out for posters and notices with more info
- Please pray for all our young people and students who have exams this term. Be it GCSES, SATS, A Levels or Uni exams. We all know this is a stressful time for them, please pray that they can give of their best in revising and in the exams and also that they know their worth is not defined by a grade on a piece of paper.
- Please pray for those who were recently baptised, that they will know God close to them in the weeks to come.
Over the past few months I keep coming across this phrase Imago Dei which means the Image of God. I first saw it when studying for my Chaplaincy course, we went to shadow a Chaplin in a huge 6th form college near Birmingham, he said this about his role “I see my role as being able to see the image of God in all people of all faiths believing that God is already at work somehow in their life before I even speak to them.”
As we have gone through the “Fruitfulness on the front line” series at Church this is something that has kept popping into my mind. I have been challenged to see all those I meet on my frontline as being made in the image of God. As you can imagine this is much easier to say than do in practice but when practiced it has changed the way I interact with people.
One of the key principles of youth work is equality and it’s easy to see how this comes into play here, choosing to treat all people regardless of their faith or world view with the same love and respect as you would for someone who had the same faith or view on life as you. The Chaplin we shadowed described this as “Compassion without compromise”
Maybe a challenge to all of us is to try and see the Image of God in everyone that we come across on our front line. Knowing that God is already at work in their lives in some way. I have found that when I can do this I act with more compassion and am able to show more empathy.
Josh Amott-Youth and children’s worker
What a glorious day it was this Easter Sunday; our day started with about 30 people joining us for our Sunrise Service on Ide Hill. We watched the sun rise around a warming camp fire and planted sunflower seeds together.
The Easter Day Family service saw our three congregations come together and the church was full to the brim. The worship was joyful and we celebrated with four members of our congregation, who gave moving testimonies about their journey of faith, and were baptised. Their baptisms symbolise their resurrection with Christ into a new hope and a new life.
Friday 19th April
10am Good Friday
Joint service at Vine Baptist Church
Sunday 21st April
6am Sunrise service
Meet at Ide Hill Cafe
10am Easter Celebration
and Baptismal Service
How is Faithworks changing? We have a new logo and we have been changing how we see ourselves over the last few months.
Since 2005 Faithworks has become a part of the village community and during that time we have been involved in many ways including running a youth club and coffee shop, organising community Fun Days, helping in the School and other village activities. As I wrote in the last edition of this magazine, life in the village has changed a lot since 2005 and there are now more facilities and organisations for residents to enjoy.
What has disappeared in the last 13 years are the churches in the village with both the Free Church in Station Road and Bethel Chapel congregations gone and their sites either being developed or plans to do so. Faithworks started with a group of people from Bessels Green Baptist who decided not to establish another church but rather become part of the community and meet what needs they could. We have done this and continue to do so. Faithworks is now full of village people.
So, what is Faithworks now? Well we think we are the Christian church in the village but we are not a traditional church with formal services in a church building. We are still very much part of the community. We are the community church – people not a place!
Faithworks meets regularly at the pavilion on Sunday mornings with a Café and Family Fun where we enjoy each other’s company and chat informally about the Christian faith. We are often in Bojangles and continue to help wherever we can in the village – regularly in the School, at Hamlyn Court sheltered housing and with Parish Council events. If people want to talk in more depth about the Christian faith we meet twice a month on Wednesday evenings.
We are still part of Bessels Green Baptist Church who support us and meet with us a few times a year.
The key message is that we are YOUR church in Dunton Green. Watch out for a leaflet through your door with more information, or:
visit our Facebook page: fb.me/dgfaithworks
or see our website: www.dgmessage.com