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March

Re: ‘A great servant of the Baptist family’ 
I just want to say how much I valued Roger's ministry, support and encouragement when I served in Weston-Super-Mare. I recognise him as an important part of my 'journey' as a minister and have always held him in high regard for his honesty, wisdom and humility.
Graham Stockdale

Roger sat beside me at the Superintendent's Board when I was a very new Super. His wisdom and kindness were invaluable.
Brian Nicholls

Through the many years I knew Roger while I was Librarian at Regent's Park College, including responsibility for the Angus Library, and he was Secretary then Vice President of the Baptist Historical Society, I found him one of the most genuine, human and Christian historians with whom I was in contact, as well as a great supporter of the Angus Library.
Sue Mills

What an amazing Christian friend, minister and scholar Roger was. As Superintendent he guided my journey into ministry, through college, and into my first church. In later years he was always enquiringly encouraging, not least when I was teaching Baptist history or engaged in my own research. Three generations of my family have had cause to appreciate and benefit from his wise counsel and deep yet simple spiritual direction. Roger represents something special and important that is sadly missing and desperately needed in Baptist life today. Thank you Lord for your gift of Roger to our Baptist family and to all the lives he so generously blessed.
Kerry J Birch

A great gift from God to so many, a disciple who simply sought to disciple other disciples. It's been a rich privilege to have known Roger Hayden.
Peter Burns

We are all deeply saddened to hear that Roger Hayden has passed away. It was our privilege to have known him and ever thankful for the valued help he gave us as a Church. Our prayers are with his wife and family, May God be their strength, guide and comfort both now and in the days ahead.
Joan Rodway on behalf of Cinderford Baptist Church

With all the many tributes to Roger concerning his much valued work among the Baptist World I would remember him very much as a friend of the man/woman in the pew. I count it as a privilege to count him as a personal friend and know that I too was a friend to him. He never lost that personal touch and I am grateful for the support and Christian love he gave to me.
June Walden

I had the honour of succeeding Roger in the ministry at Haven Green Baptist Church, Ealing. It was an unusual situation as Roger believed that the church needed as short an inter-regnum as possible. In the end there were just two weeks between his farewell and my induction. Some three months earlier it was actually Roger who at a morning service with us present announced that we had accepted the call. Over that period he offered much encouragement to this new minister fresh from college, demonstrating that humility which was part of his character. He remained a source of encouragement throughout my time at Haven Green and proffered several gems of wisdom about ministry that remain with me to this day. A faithful minister of God's word and a true brother.
David Chawner

Roger was a lovely man. As my Area Superintendent he was really supportive when I was applying to train for the ministry in the 80s as a single parent, and meeting some difficulties.
(I subsequently trained at Northern and served for 20 years). My impression was that he would always fight one’s corner if he believed in someone.
The Revd Brenda Morton

Roger was Honorary Archivist at Bristol Baptist College whilst I was librarian from 2001-2013. He was an expert in 18th century history and Baptist history and I marvelled at his encyclopaedic brain. He was always able to give visiting researchers new angles on their chosen subjects because he knew the archive material so well. In addition, he was a supportive colleague and kind friend, whom I remember with fondness and gratitude.
Shirley Shire

Roger was a great encourager. When my late husband Justin and I were first married, we made Ealing our home and Haven Green became our home church. Roger welcomed us most warmly and showed great grace and bravery in encouraging us young ones in areas of service and leadership. We wanted to start a house group so he did all could to link us with others and help us make it work. We were asked to take over leadership of the Young People's Fellowship, even though we were not much older than the teenagers, and he allowed us to use church facilities with abandon. He asked Justin and some other young men In their twenties to serve on the diaconate. At the time the average age of this august body was probably about fifty so allowing these Young Turks (and their wives) to take on significant leadership roles was brave. As a result of this careful nurturing we were allowed to gain skills and experience that have been the bedrock of our lives. Roger was a man of significant vision and wisdom. At Haven Green he created a fertile seedbed encouraging growth and maturity and for that I am eternally grateful.
(Justin and I worshiped at Haven Green Baptist Church for over 25 years bring up our four girls there)
Gillian Phillips

Re: "Brexit is the solution"
Ian makes a coherent and persuasive case for Leaving the EU. So many of the arguments from the Remain side are based either on fear of the unknown or on the potential greater costs of being "outside". Christians should not be driven either by fear or by selfish material considerations.
Wikipedia tells us that "Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness." It will surely not be long before "Brussels Syndrome" is recognised as the condition whereby people vote to Remain in the EU simply because they cannot imagine and are encouraged to be fearful of what life would be like if we Leave.
PBTHomas

It's sad to see Ian spread the same disinformation about the EU that UKIP does.
The EU is a democracy. Unlike a certain country whose House of Lords are unelected peers who inherit a seat for life, the MEP's are elected by the citizens of Europe, and are in office for a limited term. They represent the will of the people rather than some local interest group.
Security will not be served by us getting out of intelligence sharing and the European Arrest warrant, or by us walking away from our allies on the continent.
And of the 28 member countries, it's only the UK that is consistently not like-minded and works against the consensus. In things like limiting banker bonuses, tackling tax evasion, arms trade and so on, the UK has consistently been the odd country out, blocking EU attempts to address the problems.
Markus

(in reply to Markus)
The EU is NOT a democracy. Virtually all decisions are taken by beaurocrats behind closed doors and rubber stamped by MEPs who have seconds to vote without debate. Well said Ian.
David Parsons (Revd)

Ian's PS perturbs me. The questions seem fair enough but they are not an argument for 'out'. They simply reflect this Government's shabby handling of the issue. The PM, Chancellor and others chose to cast the whole matter of the UK's relation to the EU as a 'deal'. In others words, as a self-interested, couldn't care less about greater concerns, grubby bit of wheeling and dealing. No, it is not morally right to opt in only for what you can get out of it (something that also applies to church membership, dare I say, and to kingdom-citizenship). But the matter should never have been pitched in such a way in the first instance.
P Holmes

If it is true that the people perish for lack of vision (Prov 29:18) then our major church leaders are found seriously wanting in the area of the Referendum. Today’s lukewarm and lacklustre address on the matter by Archbishop Justin Welby is such an example: what on earth are we to loose in June? What is the church to bind in heaven this summer?
I do not agree that God has no agenda with the EU. Moreover, accepting that the foundations and symbolism of the EU are not Godly, then we would be wise to distance ourselves as a nation and sever any further allegiance with Europa (the Harlot), Zeus (the Bull) and the Tower of Babel (Strasbourg).
Thus, Ian Tutton is right to advocate Brexit, but as Christians it should not be primarily about sovereignty, security and stability, but about seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33) - and all these other things will follow. God will ensure it to be.
Andy Burns

While I beg to differ from the last post, I really don't think Ian is right in suggesting that the issue of EU membership is purely political and has no theological content. Surely Christians must think through political issues with theological understanding, even though they may come to different conclusions!
What I do not like at all in the current national debate is the tone of the discussion, in which both "in" and "out" supporters are quoting alleged facts which we, the public, are unable to evaluate; and in which "scare" stories about economics or migration or defence are being unhelpfully bandied around. Sure, there are "pros" and "cons" for both positions, but we seem to find it difficult to have a dispassionate and reasoned debate.
One thing I do believe as a Christian, and which is broader than the current debate, is that our primary allegiance is to God and his Kingdom rather than to any earthly national identity.
Andrew Kleissner

It is true that the EU has many faults but the sovereignty issue is a red herring. In any organisation it is necessary to cede some of your own decision making to belong to the organisation.
What has the EU ever done for us?
After two world wars the chances of war between the countries of the EU has been significantly reduced. This to me is probably the most important thing to remember. Blessed are the peacemakers!
As a design engineer working in the electronics industry I appreciate the value of the EU directives now harmonised across the EU and enshrined in UK law that protect our environment such as (ROHS Reduction of Hazardous Substances) and (WEEE Waste Electrical and Equipment regulations). Of course some people think that regulations such as these are red tape. However scripture reminds us that we are stewards of the environment.
I do not think that we can work effectively on our own to solve the refugee crisis. We should remember that Germany led the way in accepting Syrian refugees and that our own government was fairly reticent. A little Englander view point would enable us to pull up the drawbridge and prevent not only other other Europeans but also the refugees from migrating to the UK. Is this a Christian act?
As one of the more powerful nations in Europe we have a voice and we should use it to reform the EU. To ensure that the Eurocrats do not rule the roost and to ensure that Europe's finances are transparent and honest. The EU gives us the opportunity to speak the truth in love - we must continue to engage with Europe.
Stability is a problem of a one currency fits all policy where countries with very different economies share a single currency. Greece would have benefited from a devaluation of its currency but were hamstrung by the Euro. Unfortunately even if the UK was not part of the EU we would not be immune from a Euro currency crisis. We are where we are and again we need to engage with Europe to help and not just turn our backs on Europe. As the fifth largest world economy we have a duty to help.
Patrick Heaps

(in reply to Patrick)
I don't think, Patrick, I've read so much misleading misinformation misguiding people for ages. I was also an electronic engineer before ministry and am aware of the need to harmonise regulations, but that's a world wide issue with any country with whom we will trade (after Brexit).
1) It's true that to belong to an organisation you may have to cede some of your own decision making power - but why belong to it in the first place?
2) Peace is due to NATO, not the EU.
3) All the directives regarding the disposal of hazardous substances are fine - if you obey them. Driving along the A27 earlier, even though I was concentrating on the road, I was appalled at the sheer volume of litter left in the hedgerows - and that's been against the law since before the EU. The biggest culprits for breaking the law are the other member countries of the EU, it seems that GB is the only member country that takes them seriously. Also, what about the more ridiculous directives like what shape bananas and cucumbers have to be to sell them. Do you have any idea of the sheer quantity of rules flowing out of Brussels made by unelected beaurocrats? It's responsibility, not rules that protect the environment.
4) The refugee crisis is tragic and mind blowing and has no easy answers. But we don't have to belong to the EU to work with Europe to do what we can to alleviate the problem. Very probably we could do more outside the EU because people might be less fearful of accepting (genuine) refugees knowing we have control of our borders.
5) We have virtually no real influence in the EU. we are only one of 28 nation states with decisions being taken behind closed doors by unelected officials and MEPs being given seconds to vote in the EU parliament. This is dictatorship by stealth.
6) Stability will become increasingly elusive due to the migrant crisis. Stability is enhanced when all nation states are confident in their own sovereignty and can work together allowing for their own individual needs. At the moment the EU works on the basis of one size fits all - and look at what that has done to Greece!
7) Engaging with Europe is not the same as belonging to the EU. We sell pretty well half to Europe of what we buy from Europe which gives us a whip hand in any negotiations. Leaving the EU is not disengaging with Europe or the migrant crisis or turning our backs on Europe.
8) One last word. Even if Brexit is the final catalyst that breaks the EU that will be no bad thing. I find it absolutely extraordinary that any Baptist who believes in the autonomy of the local church (not it's isolation) can desire to belong to a political enterprise that is attempting to become a monolithic super power seeking to rule over what (they desire) to be once nation states. The EU is about power and seems to be achieving by stealth what Hitler failed to do by war. Just as a local Baptist church knows how best to respond to local opportunities so nation states know best how to respond to local circumstances.
I believe we will be better for Brexit, Europe and the world will be better for Brexit and we can get on with being what we do well, being a great country.
David Parsons (Revd)

(In reply to David)
Dear David,
This is a very emotive issue and I am sorry if I have upset you but I'm not sure that your arguments are necessarily true.

I agree that NATO provides a much needed military alliance which has in the past been effective against soviet aggression. But even so the situation in the Ukraine has still not been resolved satisfactorily. Lasting peace needs much more than a military solution.

The EU provides a community of nations committed to fair trade and whilst I am nervous of every increasing political union I seriously doubt that there's much appetite left for this among all the members of the EU.

World wide harmonisation of standards for hazardous substances is well nigh impossible. The harmonised regulations mean that the EU is committed to the removal of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury etc from their products. This does not equate to road side litter, and to suggest that this is as a result of foreign truck drivers seems a little prejudiced.

Please can you refer me to the EU regulations that state that Bananas and Cucumbers have to be a certain shape. I believe this was Uk supermarket policy and not something enforced by Europe. Indeed some supermarkets have started selling oddly shaped veg rather than let it go to waste. I seriously doubt that they are breaking EU regulations!

The EU needs reform to make it more democratic and accountable but I feel it is worth persevering with the project rather than to choose the rather drastic Brexit solution.

You may have a point on your last comment, as you say if we didn't,have so many European workers coming to the UK then we might as a nation be more willing to accept refugees.Sadly I suspect that it wouldn't make much difference to the way our nation views refugees. I do think we have a problem in the way that many refugees are settled in areas already undergoing severe stress due to unemployment etc.

Please allow me to state my views, I accept that I may be wrong but if you want to hear really misleading information just listen to the politicians on both sides of the argument.

My fervent hope is that at least in the Church this debate might be conducted in a friendly manner and that we may all approach this in a prayerful and thoughtful manner.

Again if I have offended you I apologise.
Patrick Heaps

(in reply to Patrick)
Patrick. You haven't offended or upset me in the least. I believe in robust strong debate and discussion and if you feel I have been insulting to you in any way, please accept my apologies. Proverbs says that 'iron sharpens iron' and while I am fighting for Brexit I respect other well argued views.
Brexit is about national sovereignty and above all, democracy and the EU is clearly non democratic. BTW, I wasn't suggesting that roadside litter came from foreign truckers. I was making the point that however good and comprehensive any laws and rules may be they are only as good as the people who obey them. It's responsibility not so much rules that counts.
Please do state your views boldly and strongly. No one benefits when we are silent about issues we feel strongly about.
I find it interesting that this debate is sparking more replies than some of the other current topics, but it is crucially important.
David Parsons (Revd)

(in reply to David)
David, and ' A soft answer turns away wrath,'Prov 15:1. Thanks for your reply, I believe the EU repealed the bendy veg rule after much protest. I guess this is democracy in action from my POV.
Patrick Heaps

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