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



Dave Ellis’ Postcard from Australia

It had been a dream on my bucket list for the last 30 years to go to Australia. Vivienne and I were able to fulfill that dream last October. I also knew I was following in Adrian’s footsteps in claiming Australia as part of HEBA.

After a long but enjoyable flight the first experiment I did when we landed in Sydney and got through customs was to find a toilet to flush to see if the water spins the wrong way. I wasn’t disappointed.

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Our commitment to our churches

As we move into a new year, I want to remind you of the Association’s commitment to you. Our desire is ‘to grow healthy churches’, with HEBA’s purpose to stimulate and assist the region’s Baptist churches for their God-given task of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

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Monthly Message

Is God calling you? I pray that God is calling each and every one of us and that we are in the place God has for us. As Baptists, we stand for ‘every member ministry’ and that God wants to fulfill His purposes through all of us. When we follow Jesus, He wants us to be open to His leading and guiding in all that we do.

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Cole Valley Cluster Funday

Five local Baptist Churches straddling the river Cole in East Birmingham held their fourth Funday for their local communities providing about 1,000 hamburgers as well as craft activities, games and free Bouncy Castle Slides. A Mission Project Grant was provided from Home Mission funds.

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