Council Statement

Following a period of prayerful and careful listening across our Baptist movement we have sought to discern the mind of Christ together.  Council maintains that the basis of our Union is the Declaration of Principle and, “that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures…”

Council has concluded that our Ministerial Recognition Rules concerning marriage and ministry will remain unchanged. Therefore, an accredited minister should not themselves be in a same-sex marriage. Nonetheless Council reiterates that sexual orientation is no bar to accreditation. Furthermore, Council upholds the liberty of the local church to appoint ministry according to their governing documents[i].

Council laments all the pain that has been experienced through the process which has led to this decision and is acutely aware of the significant impact it may have. While Council has reached a decision, it recognises that the consultation report reflects a range of convictions across our Baptist family.

Council asks us all to demonstrate grace and respect towards those that hold different views to their own. Council also asks us all to exercise pastoral care and sensitivity, especially to those who requested this change or are unable to be in accredited ministry. Remembering the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church in Ephesus for us to bear with one another in love, we strive to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:2-3)

Council has reached this decision seeking to embody the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in all our deliberations and conversations. We continue to pray that all the communities into which we bring God’s love as Baptists Together will recognise the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us. Our deep desire is for all to know the renewing love of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

[i] The Baptist Union of Great Britain: Guideline Leaflet L09: Equality law and your church

As part of our call to prayer, we are encouraging Baptists Together to join our 'Praying Together' days of prayer, and to set aside time to pray in our churches and as individuals. On these pages you will find links to our monthly prayer broadcasts along with short weekly video reflections and written prayers.

In this season of prayerful stillness and waiting, let’s join together in prayer however we can.

Please share this and encourage others to pray too.

Call to Prayer

From the Baptist World Alliance

Baptists across Israel and the Palestinian Territories request fervent prayer for just peace. This includes the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel with 17 Baptist churches and the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land representing 13 Baptist churches in the Palestinian Territories, including a Baptist church in Gaza.

Together as a Baptist family that is one in Christ Jesus, let us mourn with all whose loved ones have been killed or are held captive. Let us follow paths of peacemaking that unequivocally reject terrorism or any acts that target civilians, include dehumanizing language, or limit human rights on the basis of ethnicity or faith. Let us generously provide help and support with the compassion of Christ. Let us stand together with our Baptist family and all who are suffering, and in the midst of complexity and violence, hear again the words of the prophet Micah “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” in pursuit of restorative justice and peace for all people. Our Baptist leaders in the region have shared the following calls to prayer.

Prayer is the most important action we can take at this time.

Please join with Baptists around the world in prayer using the prayer points listed below.

  • Pray for a quick end to the conflict and the prevention of escalation into a larger war in the region.
  • Pray for the God of all comfort to be with those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.
  • Pray for those who have been wounded during the conflict and for those providing medical assistance to them.
  • Pray for the safety and liberation of hostages, and pray for mediators to facilitate their release.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for the leaders, that they may make decisions that lead to lasting peace and alleviate suffering.
  • Pray that Christians from around the world will unite in prayer for peace, demonstrating the love of Christ to all peoples.
  • Pray for safety of local followers of Jesus and that they will be shielded from extremism and hatred, especially young people.
  • Pray for God to utilize our churches as effective witnesses during this challenging time, through the power of the Holy Spirit, including the Baptist church in Gaza and its ongoing ministry.
  • Pray that Christians around the world will give generously as our Baptist family across this area seeks to holistically minister in this critical time of suffering.
  • Pray for peace, hope, and security for the entire region, and that the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays so that Israelis and Palestinians will experience life lived in peace and freedom with one another.

The Baptist Assembly

Join us next year in Telford - 17-19 May 2024

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Assembly this year.
Here are the videos: Assembly 2023



Just a building?

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
Luke 21:5-6 (NIV)

I was recently asked to preach on this passage as part of a series through Luke and it got me thinking about the role that buildings can (and should?) play in our lives and in our worship.

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Last year I reminded you of HEBA’s vision and values – ‘Growing Healthy Churches’ and our commitment to companionship, generosity, diversity, learning and innovation. Whilst we want to develop all the values, our focus this year is ‘diversity’.

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“See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)

I know that the new year begins on 1st January, but over the years I’ve been involved in churches, September has felt as much of a fresh beginning as January, maybe more so. Perhaps that’s because so much of what we do, and the programmes we run, are shaped by the academic year more than the calendar year?

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No Planet B

The Christian Churches around Birmingham are facing the challenges of Climate Change, together.

On Saturday June 29th 72 people gathered at the Quaker rooms in Bull Street under the theme of “No Planet B”. They included Baptists, Methodists, URC, Quakers, Catholics, Anglicans, Unitarians and Franciscan brothers; much of the organising and training was provided by Christian Aid and CAFOD working together.

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God is all, and all-inclusive!

The vision God has given me for setting up a Deaf Church has actually happened…I see it unfolding before my eyes!

Open Hands Signing Church aims to encourage Deaf people to worship God using the beautiful language of the British Deaf Community – British Sign Language, and other visual means. Hearing people are welcomed too, and a voice-over is always provided so that they have access to everything.

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