Autumn Programme 2021

With the lifting of Covid restrictions, many of our activities are now starting up again.

Church services
Sundays at 10.30am
Face to face
Attendees are encouraged to use hand sanitiser and to wear a face mask

Girls’ Brigade
Thursday evenings
Face to face
Primary age children: 5.30-6.30pm
Secondary age children 6.45-7.45pm

Bible study and fellowship group
Alternate Monday evenings
Face to face
If you are interested in attending, please use the “contact us” tab to get in touch to check dates and times

Craft group
Tuesday evenings
Face to face
7pm

A new beginning: the reopening of our church

We are re-opening for worship at 10.30 a.m. from Sunday 9th August.

This is a step forward, but we are not “back to normal”. We know that some people won’t be able to come, as they are shielding or clinically vulnerable, or are a bit anxious about meeting in a large group indoors. Please don’t feel that there is any pressure on you to come!

Please stay at home if you or a member of your household have any coronavirus symptoms e.g. a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a change to your sense of smell.

You can still join the NBA Sunday Worship Service online each week until September

What will it be like if you come to church?

It’ll be a bit of an adventure for all of us.. but we know that however different things are, we will be in the Father’s presence together…. with at least some of our Family, and we can also remember in prayer those who can’t yet be there with us.

The services will last for around 30 minutes, and involve prayers, Bible readings, a short talk, and listening to music.

What precautions are you taking to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus?

  • We’ll keep socially-distant as we enter church- and remember, no hugs or handshakes!
  • We will wear face-coverings, as we do in shops.
  • We will wash our hands on entering, or use hand sanitiser
  • The chairs will be 2 metres apart. Please fill the front seats first. Families may put chairs in their row closer together. Young children should sit with their parents.
  • You will be asked to give your name and phone number, or other contact detail, so that you can be traced if anyone at the service tests positive for the virus in a few days’ time. This record will be kept securely for 21 days, then destroyed. (See the Privacy Notice which accompanies this letter)
  • You will see tissues, sanitiser and pedal bins at each side of the hall. Please use these if you need to cough or sneeze, or touch your face.
  • We have cleaned and sanitised before the service and will do it again after the service.
  • If you need to use the toilet, will you please sanitise it with wipes, placing them in the bins provided. Parents need to accompany their children, to ensure surfaces are sanitised etc.
  • Sadly, we are not allowed to sing, or shout. But we can clap, stamp, shake our keys, – and enjoy recorded praise and worship together!
  • We will leave at the end of the service, maintaining social distance.

A Letter from Our Pastor

17/03/2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ.

I am writing to you in a period of great uncertainty.  All of us know that the coronavirus is affecting everyone’s lives across the globe. It has now reached the stage in our own country where necessary restrictions are being put in place to stop unnecessary social contact. As of today the government has indicated that places of worship fall within these restrictions. The Baptist Union has now given guidance that churches should stop meeting on Sundays and at other times. In light of this it is with great sadness that I must inform you that all gatherings connected with Durham City Baptist Church are cancelled as of 12.00noon 17 March 2020.

The next step is to think of ways that we can keep in touch with each other. Modern technology will make this easier; however, some folk do not have access to such things, so we will have to ensure those in that position are kept in touch using other appropriate ways.

We are in a developing situation and I hope the deaconate along with all who are part of the fellowship will work together in creative ways to maintain the bond of fellowship we have in Christ.

The restrictions put pressure on us all, but more so on particular groups of people.  As a church we must make sure that those who are being encouraged to self-isolate more rigorously are well supported. If anyone thinks that they might have time to do shopping for those people, or help in other ways please let me know. Those who are being asked to be more rigorous in separating themselves from others should not hesitate to contact the church if they are in need of help.

More information about how we as a church will respond to this new situation will be sent out as it becomes available. Please feel free to make suggestions to myself as to things that might be useful, in these interesting times.

I leave you with the words of Jesus.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Yours in Christ

Ronnie

Cafe Church: This Sunday

This Sunday is our first café church service of 2020! From 10.30-11.30 we will be meeting in our church building in Edge Court, Durham, to worship God and have fellowship with each other. Everyone is very welcome, and the service will be followed by a light lunch.

But…can you work out what Bible passage we will be exploring during the service?

Christmas Fun Day – 2019

Cafe Church: Psalm 23

At our Café Church service this morning, we thought about the different images David presents us with in Psalm 23, perhaps the best known reflection on God’s provision for our lives. He “leads us by the still waters”, providing us with peace and calm in times of stress; he “makes us lie down in green pastures”, thus meeting our daily needs; and he is present even in the “darkest valley”. The Psalm acknowledges that whilst living the Christian life will not always be easy and we will meet challenges on the way, God is always there – although perhaps not in the way that we might expect.

We made these little sheep to take home to remind us of what we learned during the service.

We made these little sheep to take home to remind us of what we learned during the service.

This reflection is particularly appropriate for our anniversary weekend – we have just celebrated 69 years of ministry and fellowship in the Gilesgate area of Durham. There have been “dark valleys” over the years, but we see God continuing to bless us every day. As we look forward to our preparations for Christmas (the Christmas Fun Day is only a few weeks away – the 30th November), we are reminded of his greatest provision of all – his Son, Jesus Christ.

Pot Holes on my Mind (thoughts from the minister)

I have had pot holes on my mind for some time now, in fact over a year. What brought pot holes back to mind recently was a road I travelled on during a recent holiday. The single lane road had a particularly deep pot hole, which obviously needed to be avoided. This jogging of the memory brought me back to the title of an article I was thinking of writing; it was to be called “Bad Posture and Pot Holes”.Pothole in the Road Picture | Free Photograph | Photos ...

It was while walking along a road last winter I noticed there where a lot of pot holes in the road. I realised the reason I was seeing them was because of my bad posture, something my mother and father had warned me of constantly when I was young. My bad posture means that I constantly look downwards, about three foot in front of me. What fills my vision, pot holes! I made an effort to correct my posture; lo and behold I saw the whole road ahead of me. It put the pot holes into context: pot holes there were, but the road was bigger than the pot holes – the new vision put the pot holes into perspective.

R H Tawney, the English economic historian and social critic once wrote that the English “…are more interested in the state of the roads than their place on the map”. This phrase resonates with my preoccupation with pot holes, a preoccupation that stops me from seeing the bigger picture.

Christians can also get caught up with pot holes, or the state of the road, so much so that they stop seeing the road ahead, or finding their place on the map. The issue that the pot hole symbolises (such as the state of the church car park) becomes almost all consuming, nearly eclipsing all else.

Christian people need to have correct spiritual posture so that they can see the full glory of God in Jesus; in the light of this bigger picture all else, pot holes included, will find their proper place.

The apostle Paul shows something of this bigger picture writing these words to the church at Colossae:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:15-18)

This is the grand vision, Jesus, the one who reveals the ways of God to us; he shows us the way because he is the way. Jesus Christ is all of this because he is God the Son. If we want to see the road ahead, if we want to know where we are on the map it is essential that we lift up our eyes and see God for us, Jesus.

Fix your eyes upon Jesus; this was the advice of the author of the book of Hebrews to Christians that were in danger of losing their ways because of the pot holes that surrounded them:

“We must look ahead, to Jesus. He is the one who carved out the path for faith, and he’s the one who brought it to completion.” (Hebrews 12:2) (Tom Wright. The New Testament for Everyone, (p. 501). SPCK. Kindle Edition.)

So as Christian people let us have the correct posture, so that we might see the pot holes in perspective and that we might know where we are on the map. So that we might go forward in the wonderful adventure, which is being caught up in the reign of God.

From the Pastor’s desk
Ronnie Wynd

Reflection on Psalm 20

Each week our Church Secretary (Bill) speaks about his thoughts on a particular Psalm, and last week it was number 20. Bill reminded us that Jesus echoed this Psalm when he said “ask and it will be given to you”, prompting us to consider God’s boundless love and provision for us (although sometimes we need to learn that God is telling us to wait, or to reconsider our motivations for asking). The psalmist makes it clear in the words “our plans” and “your desire” that what he asks for is in line with God’s will, and that even if he doesn’t get an answer right now he will “keep on calling”.

Bill prompted us to read and reflect on this in our personal prayer time:

LORD,
answer me when I call out in distress
protect me when I’m under attack;
help me to carry out our plans.

LORD,
support me when I need help;
accept what I bring to you as an offering;
give me the desire of my heart, your desire;
grant my requests.

LORD,
you do answer me, you do save me;
I trust in you, my Lord and my God.
So I will stand up and stand firm!
I will keep on calling to you!