Great location helps Baptist church reach out
King Street Baptist Church in Thetford, Norfolk, is a town-centre church making the most of its ideal location for outreach to the town – and exploring working together with others to develop new forms of outreach.
Established in 1861, King Street Baptist has been a constant site of worship in the heart of the town community for 157 years. Situated in the middle of the main pedestrian street from which it takes its name, surrounded by shops and cafes, it provides an ideal base for outreach.
“The forecourt is used by ourselves and by others as we work with Thetford Christians Together,” explains minister in training Sally Sago. “We regularly host Healing on the Streets, the Easter March of Witness, hold our own Christmas Nativity festival and a monthly singing duo on a Tuesday morning.
“Kidz club is also hosted monthly on a Saturday morning. We have a collection box in our foyer for regular Foodbank donations which are greatly needed in the town which has a high proportion of deprivation and poverty.
“This last year has seen many changes including the appointment of a female minister in training, which the EBA Home Mission grant enables us to support. As well as continuing our weekly bible study group and regular prayer meeting, a new discipleship and nurture group has begun known as MICE (Maturing in Christ, aiming at Christian living according to the Word in Ephesians 4). This meets twice a month focusing on growing disciples and preparing us to disciple others through sharing faith in our daily living and working spaces.
“A pastoral team has been established and trained, increasing the care and support we can give to those of our church family and friends.
“Sunday worship forms the heart of our fellowship, as we gather for praise and worship and seek God’s will for a new missional focus in our community. We receive many visitors of many nationalities and denominations on a regular basis as they stay in the area either short or long-term.
“Easter Sunday was a great time of celebration as we baptised a wonderful new Christian lady and also welcomed three new members. We are blessed with the strong giftings of welcome, friendship and hospitality which are appreciated by all who join us. Using those strengths since April we have gathered one Sunday a month in a less formal café style approach to worship together, inviting people in the town to join us, either on the forecourt or in our building.
“The forecourt is a great space for outreach and our youth team have spent the spring/summer under our new gazebo offering face-painting and activities to children passing the church and offering a coffee to parents whilst they sit and relax as they wait.
“Focusing on overseas mission as well as local, we have just begun to partner with four couples who are working with BMS in various parts of Africa and Asia who we hope to build relationships with as they serve in difficult circumstances overseas.“
Prayers of Thanks
• For God’s provision of our premises and situation in the town
• For the provision of the EBA Home Mission Grant for 2019
• For the gifts of welcome and hospitality
• For the work of the Holy Spirit in our fellowship as we embrace change together
• For new mature Christians with professional backgrounds to be called to serve at KSBC as we struggle with a very small leadership team and people to resource any new opportunities.
• For financial support and grants as we seek to replace rotting windows and refurbish the chapel sanctuary
• For help to update and redesign our website
• For willing and able people to serve
• For musicians
Plans for the future
The church is exploring the possibility of working together with others to develop new missional ways of outreach through a consultancy programme.
King Street Baptist is also seeking to open their building more for community use and to become a place of prayer and healing.