Sunday 5 January 2014

Cornton Baptist Church

Having been in Stirling a few months now, we thought we'd share a little about the church that we've settled in to: Cornton Baptist Church. We spent a little while praying and searching for churches before the move, and it was proving a little difficult as not one place seemed to be quite right. Just a couple of days before the move Jay heard from someone that CBC existed: after a quick look at their website we found that they believe about the right things, are doing a lot of good things, and the church building was very close to our new house (with the implication that it was a church serving our local community - something we were keen to be part of if possible).

We went along on the first Sunday that we were in Stirling and have stuck there ever since. Jay has recently joined the church as an official member (Sandy hasn't yet - a condition of membership is a believer's baptism which he's not had), we're both getting involved in small groups and serving teams, Miriam's been dedicated and with the appearance of some pictures from the church Christmas party we thought it to be a good time to share a little about our thoughts on the church and why we feel God wants us to be there just now.

We'll try to avoid too many comparisons with our previous church Open Heaven as God puts us in the right place at the right time, and all churches have their pluses and minuses. However, there is a quite visible difference form OH, and that is that CBC has a really broad mixture of people and demographics. It's quite balanced between all age groups, with children the same ages as Naomi and Miriam, students, people our age, middle aged and retired. Also worth saying is that the people are really friendly: we were made very welcome from the first week, with simple things like people remembering our names and making offers of practical help like babysitting.

It's a fairly small church - maybe 70 or 80 people on a Sunday - which is good because it's much easier to get to know people well, and it's easier to find a place that we can serve. It's also growing, which is a reflection of the good job that's being done of reaching out to local people.

The teaching is really solid - Bible focused and accessible with a clear gospel message every week. We also think the church's priorities are in the right place - that is, for Kingdom growth - early on we were told that it didn't matter which church we joined as long as it was where God wanted us. As in Loughborough, there is also a good relationship between the different churches in the area.

The church are also open to trying new stuff - we gather that the church has changed quite a bit in the past few years. One example is that Jay has offered to start a toddler group for the community and the response was pretty much - "how do we make this happen?" The church also has a good focus on social justice and wider mission, supporting a number of charities and agencies that do these things.

We're sure that God has put us here for at least the next wee while, and we're quite happy with that. It would be great if those of you who pray can give thanks that we've been led to a good church and that God leads us to the best places for us to serve now that we're here.

Finally, some pictures from the Christmas party...

I see party food...

Smile please.

Yes, actual ceilidh dancing. Awesome!

Party games with prizes!

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