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National news stories in 2017 



'Helping Christians talk about their faith'
The good news of Jesus is something we all have a role in sharing - and a new website from the Evangelical Alliance aims to help us do just that 

BMS Day of Prayer: 5 February
Churches, small groups and believers all over the globe will be praying with BMS World Mission on its annual Day of Prayer

Reaching the millennial generation 
A new network that aims to resource millennials within Baptist churches and beyond is beginning to come together

BMS Action Teams: where mission begins
Mission accomplished? Three former BMS World Mission Action Teamers didn’t expect their call to overseas mission to go on, but it did

Pray for BMS this Sunday
Are you leading prayers at church on Sunday? Here’s a prayer you can use to mark the BMS Day of Prayer


Eco Church celebrates first year
A scheme to help churches undertake positive environmental steps resulted in hundreds of actions taken in its first year

Criticism over Dubs closure
Charities speak out over the Government's decision to scrap the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children to Britain

'Dismay' at suspension of Dubs policy
Lynn Green joins church leaders to express concern at the intention to suspend the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied children

We found love in a helping place
No, we don’t advertise ‘falling in love’ as part of Action Teams, the BMS World Mission Christian gap year, but sometimes it happens!

Anti-poverty charities team up
The UK’s largest provider of foodbanks the Trussell Trust has formally joined forces with debt charity Christians Against Poverty

100,000+ take the 40acts challenge
More than 104,000 people have already signed up to 40acts, a Lent generosity campaign now in its seventh year

Injustice, Luther and Luther King
Want to challenge injustice? There is much to learn from Martin Luther and Martin Luther King say organisers of a new conference

New campaign targets climate change
Tearfund is calling on UK Christians to join in prayer to help the world’s poorest people to flourish in the face of climate change


The Apology, 10 years on 
Baptists are being invited to reflect on our Union’s Apology for Slavery and its practical outworking as it nears its 10th anniversary

Book honour for Chris Ellis
A new collection of essays celebrates and takes inspiration from the work of Chris Ellis, ‘our key thinker’ on Baptist worship

Baptist founder at heart of charity identity 
Spurgeons children’s charity is putting Christ, and its founder Charles Spurgeon, at the heart of its identity and mission as it undergoes a rebrand as part of its 150th anniversary

Baptist scholar to deliver BWA lectures
Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Callam has announced that internationally recognised Baptist scholar Anthony R Cross will be the presenter at a special forum on baptism that will be included in the program of the upcoming BWA Annual Gathering

Director of Girls’ Brigade set to step down 
Director of Girls’ Brigade Ministries and Girls’ Brigade England & Wales Ruth Gilson has announced she'll be stepping down from her role at the end of August 2017

Baptist Union Council: March 2017 
Reflection on our vision for mission and the Futures Process were among the main topics during the March gathering of the Baptist Union Council

'Stay strong in your faith in God'
National and international Christian organisations have sent messages of support and prayers following the Westminster attack

Primary school teachers needed
BMS World Mission families in Afghanistan and northern Uganda need teachers to come and educate their young children. Can you help?

Post Brexit - 'Society is ours to build'
Helping churches bring people together to explore the future of the UK after the Referendum is the focus of the latest JPIT resource

New volume on Baptist history and heritage
Challenge and Change: English Baptist life in the Eighteenth Century charts the development of Baptist life during an exciting period

Prince and Professor debate love 
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan joined Baptist theologian Paul Fiddes for a debate on love in Islam and Christianity

BMS appoints new General Director 
Dr Kang-San Tan will take up the role of BMS General Director after David Kerrigan retires from the role in the summer


'Challenge exaggeration, distortion and half-truth'
How should we approach the General Election campaign? A number of organisations are aiming to resource Christians in the run up to voting on 8 June - here's a flavour of what they've been saying

'Become part of the solution to loneliness'
Churches are being encouraged to play an even greater role in tackling isolation in their communities by signing up to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

New koko film encourages conversation around mental health 
koko, a multi-award winning blog for teenage girls, has just launched a new film looking at mental health

BMS appoints new General Director 
BMS World Mission is pleased to announce that Dr Kang-San Tan will take up the role of BMS General Director after David Kerrigan retires from the role in the summer

‘Come and be inspired!’ - Assembly 2017 
That’s the message from Lynn Green and David Kerrigan as this year’s Baptist Assembly moves ever closer

'We need to help Christian parents to nurture their children’s spirituality'
National charities Care for the Family and HOPE have launched a new report that aims to give fresh insights into how best to encourage Christian parents to nurture their children’s faith at home

Benefit changes criticised by churches 
The Joint Public Issues Team releases statement condemning the Government’s new two-child limit as "deliberately ignoring" needs of some of the UK’s poorest children



Reformation evangelism tool published
Churches across the UK are being urged to buy and give away a just-published short introduction to the Reformation

'Horrified and deeply saddened'
Christians are among those to express their horror at the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night

'Come Dance With Me' 
A report from the 2017 Godly Play Conference in Sheffield Cathedral, which marked 10 years of the charity's work and influence

Assembly seminar programme
Baptist Assembly seminars explored a range of topics including engaging with millennials, pioneering and mission in a secular world

Pursuing that vision of God’s kingdom on earth
The progress BMS is making in its 2016-2020 mission strategy ‘One Million Lives Transformed’ was shared during its AGM on Saturday morning

'Making a difference - now' 
Young people at the Baptist Assembly explored God's plan for their lives – and not just for the future 

'Being with God is like finding treasure' 
Children had great fun exploring, creating, and discovering at this year’s Baptist Assembly

Beacons of Hope – Baptists Together session 
‘God is on the move in us and through us’, said General Secretary Lynn Green during the Beacons of Hope session on Saturday afternoon

Forgiveness, restoration, inclusion
The cross of Jesus Christ is multi-faceted, bringing not just forgiveness but restoration and inclusion for all, said David Kerrigan during the communion service on Sunday morning

'God, I want to see a new thing!' 
British Baptists have been challenged to be open to God doing a new thing, and stop clinging to what worked in the past

Pursuing that vision of God’s kingdom on earth
The progress BMS is making in its 2016-2020 mission strategy ‘One Million Lives Transformed’ was shared during its AGM on Saturday morning

‘A holy ground moment’ 
Ministers, pastors and preachers who have recently transferred to the accredited list and BMS mission personnel were commissioned and prayed for at the Baptist Assembly

The Baptist Assembly opening celebration 
The launch of the new Pentecost People worship resource, reflections with outgoing President Rupert Lazar, the induction of new President Dianne Tidball – and a warm Yorkshire welcome  

Standing ovation for David Kerrigan 
Outgoing BMS World Mission General Director David Kerrigan received a standing ovation at this year's Baptist Assembly

'A gift to Baptists in England'
Tributes have been paid to Dr Alan Kreider, who died at his home in the US on Monday (8 May). He was 75.

Connecting faith and action 
A new centre to help Christians explore questions about justice and how we understand and live out our faith in today’s world launches this week

'Insufficient support for human trafficking victims'
Urgent reform is needed as lack of support is leaving human trafficking victims destitute and their traffickers unpunished, MPs' report warns

Engage theologically with refugee crisis
A new Baptist resource aimed at helping individuals and groups to reflect theologically about the refugee and migration crisis has been released



'A society where all are enabled to flourish'
Lynn Green has joined leaders of Britain's free churches in issuing a statement about the General Election exactly a week before the nation goes to the polls

'Let us continue our journey to justice'
The first comprehensive appraisal of the journey towards reconciliation among British and Jamaican Baptists

'Help more people find out about Jesus'
The Christian Enquiry Agency (CEA) has created a new website for churches to show them how they can use its resources to help more people find out about Jesus Christ

Doctors back calls for the decriminalisation of abortion 
The move was voted for by doctors’ representatives at the British Medical Association (BMA) annual representative meeting on Tuesday (27 June). The BMA has previously opposed changing the current law on abortion 

'An attack on one is an attack on all'
Inter faith leaders have responded to the terrorist attack at the Finsbury Park mosque in the early hours of Monday morning (19 June)   


Backing for trafficked victim support bill 
A Christian charity has called on peers to support a bill that gives greater support to victims of human trafficking when Parliament returns in September

‘Dr Dave’ all set to mess about at CRE 
David Gregory, senior minister at Croxley Green Baptist Church, will lead sessions exploring faith and science on all three days of the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) exhibition in October 

New campaign to reach children and young people not in church 
Christian charity Scripture Union England & Wales has laid down a call to churches across the nation to increase their outreach work with children and young people, as part of The 95 Campaign 

Festival unity movement growing
An initiative that aims to spread unity between different churches and Christian groups across is set to reach more than 120,000 people at UK Christian festivals this year

Get equipped for Mission Where You Are
BMS World Mission is launching a brand new course to help Christians in the UK effectively engage in mission right where they are

Faith communities 'key to cohesion'
Faith and minority communities are the key to cohesion, not the driver of division. Such communities are the root of 'a new kind of citizenship crafted through trust built in times of crisis', according to new research from the Woolf Institute.

Messy Church Does Science 
Messy Church groups are encouraged to introduce science activities thanks to a new resource developed with a Baptist minister to show how science and faith mix

New report highlights parental worries
Low self-esteem, unhappiness and bullying are among the major worries parents have for their children, says a new report from Spurgeons, which urges government, charities, schools and GPs to respond



New event explores church role in cultural transformation
A two-day event this autumn will bring together Christians to discuss the future of our towns and cities

'Create a more hope-filled Halloween'
World Vision UK has launched a new campaign to encourage churches to use Halloween as a way to engage more children with the good news of the gospel, while raising awareness of the plight of vulnerable children around the world

Christian disability charity calls for more church advocates 
Christian disability charity Through the Roof, signed up its 100th "Roofbreaker", and is calling for other volunteers to become “Roofbreakers” in their own church


Growing churches forum 
Is your church experiencing unusual kingdom growth? If so, a forum in November may be of interest

Sports chaplaincy celebration - and challenge 
Churches have been urged to explore the huge mission fields on their doorstep - sports clubs and gyms

What kind of society do we want?  
The Evangelical Alliance is encouraging the church to ask key questions about the society we want, and how we communicate it

New Director for GB Ministries 
GB Ministries has appointed a new Director – Julie Murdy – to succeed Ruth Gilson

New Vice Presidents for Baptist Historical Society
The Baptist Historical Society Committee has appointed four new Vice Presidents of the Society. 

Time to reform ‘ageist’ church
God cares no less for the old than the young – and the church must take an ageing population seriously when it comes to mission and growth


Celebrating diversity in Inter Faith Week
Christians can make a stand against division and fear by meeting with others across the differences of faith and culture, writes Baptist minister Andy Williams. Inter Faith Week is an opportunity to do that 

'Gambling is a public health issue'
A group of Churches and faith-based organisations including the Baptist Union of Great Britain has welcomed the Government's announcement of a consultation on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility measures

Hymn writer anniversary marks Baptist women focus   
The tercentenary of the birth of prolific Baptist hymn writer Anne Steele shapes the latest Baptist Quarterly

Urban Life: the journey so far
A new report charting the work of Urban Life has been released

Ministry Today UK to close 
A cross-denominational organisation run by ministers for ministers is to call time after almost a quarter of a century

New Facebook Group for Baptist ministers 
A new Facebook group to help Baptist ministers ‘journey together and listen to others who have different perspectives’ has launched

50th home for Hope into Action
A Christian charity which provides homes for the most vulnerable in society in partnership with local churches has reached a new milestone  

Postmodernism, pressures and prayer
New research offers insight into Generation Z. 

Girls’ Brigade responds to Girls’ Attitudes Survey 
Girls' Brigade Ministries has issued a faith-based response to Girlguiding's annual Girls' Attitudes survey results

'Press on' this Prisons Week
Faith communities have been encouraged to ‘press on’ in prayer and to continue to speak up for all those affected by imprisonment, as part of the national Prisons Week of Prayer beginning on Sunday (8 October)


Conquering isolation this Christmas 
Is your church organising a special community event on Christmas Day beyond the morning service? If so, please consider adding your details to a map designed to ensure no-one spends Christmas alone in the UK

Reaction to the 2017 Autumn Budget
Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the Autumn Budget on 22 November. Paul Morrison, Policy Advisor with the Joint Public Issues Team, gives his assessment

Tax avoidance 'morally wrong' 
Almost nine out of 10 (89 per cent) of British adults say tax avoidance by large companies is morally wrong, even if it's legal, according to a new ComRes poll for Christian Aid

DNA leadership training celebrates 30 years  
More than 70 people gathered in Luton to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the DNA discipleship training program earlier this autumn

From sore – to soar 
The recent Children’s Ministry Network conference explored issues around children’s well-being and mental health. Sian Hancock attended on behalf of the CYF Round Table  

'More than the South Pole and Santa'   
A new Christmas resource that aims to share the real Christmas story with thousands of children has been launched

Event to showcase Baptist research
Theology Live! is a new venture that seeks to provide a space for Baptists engaged in theological research, and those just interested in sharing some of their work.

'Improve rights for stateless people'
A new initiative calling for improved rights and better support for ‘stateless’ people has been backed by numerous Baptist ministers 

New website 'will make a huge difference' to the Church
R2C2, described as the most comprehensive resource for churches yet produced on refugee and asylum issues, has launched

New UK modern slavery findings 
Modern slavery in the UK is on the increase according to a number of recent reports

Major report on religious freedom launched at Westminster 
Religious freedom should become a political priority for the UK and other Governments, not only for the benefits of adherents under pressure but also in the battle against radicalisation 

Baptist Union Council: November 2017 
Mission and pioneering were a key focus at the November 2017 Baptist Union Council.


Resource for churches welcoming Syrian families
Middle East Christian broadcaster SAT-7 has launched a special Arabic language DVD resource to support the growing numbers of UK Christian churches and individuals who are becoming involved in resettling Syrian refugee families in the UK

'Local pantry' social franchise launched
A local pantry can help people across the UK access affordable food - and reduce the need for foodbanks

'Baptists do theology - and do it well' 
A new event which gave space to Baptists engaged in theological research took place this week

Faith leaders call on UK Government to sign nuclear ban treaty 
Following the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons, leaders from all faiths across the UK have called on the British Government to affirm the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Big rise in Night Shelter use
In 2016-17 more people than ever before were forced to use church and community night shelters

Churches call for support on treaty banning nuclear weapons 
Churches release a video calling for people to act in support of the ground breaking UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


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