Debate on Baptist Union
Ministerial Recognition Rules
6pm Sunday 24 September 2023
The format of this event will be very similar to that held in the run-up to the Brexit Referendum where one person will speak for the proposed change to the Ministerial Recognition Rules and another against.
The purpose is not to come to an official conclusion on this matter, rather, to identify the key issues to help us understand what is happening across the Baptist family and how we might participate in the process in a manner that is helpful and healthy for the church.
No doubt there will be strong views and feelings stirred by the consultation in general and this event so please pray that the Lord will continue to watch over us and guide us so that all that is done is honouring to him and for his glory.
If there are any questions and or concerns during this consultation process please do not hesitate to talk with Chris or anyone on CLT.
The Baptist Union Council received a request for 70+ members of Assembly to change Appendix 3 of ministerial recognition rules – ‘sexual misconduct which brings the church and ministry into dispute. NB This includes sexual intercourse and other genital activity outside of marriage (as defined exclusively as between a man and woman).
The change requested is the removal of the statement in brackets. Following this request Council chose to initiate a church-wide consultation to:
- Hear what the Baptist family think - Listen carefully to one another
- Gain responses both from recognised ministers and churches through online questionnaires
- Develop a snapshot of views across the Baptist family with the assurance that ‘you do not need to have to come to a conclusion or consensus as a church in order to participate’
- Assess if the Baptist ‘family’ is a broad church that can hold in tension differing views of marriage.
The consultation period will conclude in November 2023 with a report being produced and presented to Council in March 2024. It is not yet clear what will happen then.
What does this mean for ABC?
We are continually seeking guidance concerning the process by which the church consultation is to be carried out. Chris is engaged in conversations with colleagues both in the Baptist Church and other denominations regarding the minister’s consultation and the significant consequences of the outcome of the consultation. Providing opportunities to help us reflect not just on the issue in relation to the consultation but for engaging with the issue in our witness to the world. The absolute need to pray for wisdom, guidance, and courage in the light of the impact of this issue on other denominations.
The first concrete action having presented the above to our Church Meeting in June 2023 is the opportunity, for those who wish to reflect on the focus of the consultation, to gather at church on Sunday 27 September 2023 at 6pm.
On the first Sunday in the month, we often meet after Sunday morning worship for lunch followed by fellowship. Future dates, subject to confirmation:
- not 6 August 2023 (summer break)
- not 3 September 2023 (summer break)
- 1 October 2023 - Harvest
- 5 November 2023
- 3 December 2023
- 7 January 2024
Parties are held on Sunday afternoons throughout the year from 4-6pm with food and games for all the family. Children must attend with a parent/guardian.
The last party was on 9 July 2023. Future dates (to be confirmed):
- 29 October 2023 – All Hallows' Eve (Light Party)
In previous years we held Holiday Clubs from one day to five days either at Easter or in the school summer holiday. Activities for all the family are now spread throughout the year with our Sunday parties. See above.
In response to requests for adult baptism candidates are baptised during Sunday services. See the Baptism page.
Sunday 10 July 2022 Summer Party
Sunday 13 February 2022 - Valentine's Party
Last updated 22/07/2023 (BAF).