Letter from the Manse

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What is a missionary?

 What is a missionary? Silly question. We all know what a missionary is, don’t we? We have missionary prayer meetings. We get missionary newsletters. We read missionary biographies. A missionary is, well… a missionary. And yet, nobody seems to be able to tell me just what we mean when we call a person a missionary.

Once it was simple. People were sent from countries where there were churches to places where there were no churches. They went there to preach the gospel, to make disciples, to …

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Where are the future leaders?

I heard this morning some desperately sad news. The phone rang at quarter to nine. Alec Taylor was ringing to let me know that our friend Nigel Lacey had died during the night. Since his first heart attack a month ago, we had heard varying reports of his condition. One moment we heard that he was making good progress; the next we heard that he was in intensive care. And then finally this news – half expected and yet shattering.

Nigel had been a preacher for many years. He served a number of …

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Why go to Church?

It’s quarter past seven on a Sunday evening. I’m at home.  It doesn’t happen often. In fact, I doubt if there have been a dozen times in the last thirty years when I’ve not been in church on a Sunday evening. Of those nearly all have been down to illness or accident (I once spent a month in hospital with my leg in traction). But today’s different. It’s Jesse who’s ill so I’ve stayed in with him and John while Anne takes Vicky to church. In God’s kind providence David Last is …

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A new “old” building

By the time you read this, the St John Ambulance HQ will be ours and twenty-two years waiting will be at an end. God has given us that building for our own. And it would have seemed strange to write a letter from the manse at this point and not to have commented on such a major event in our life as a church. Ever since we covenanted together to form a church back in 1984 we’ve been searching, praying, …

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Grace Baptist Assembly

I’ve just posted my booking form for the Grace Baptist Assembly. Hands up those of you know exactly what the Assembly is, or does. No idea? Well, I can’t really blame you. I’ve been going for twenty-five years and I’m still not sure. But I’ll try to make things as clear as I can.

I’ll need to start with some history. There have been Baptist churches in England for nearly four hundred years. But they have always been divided theologically. Many of the earliest Baptist Churches in …

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