Tyndale Baptist Church is open for worship on Sunday mornings at 10.30 am

Please read Michael’s letter about the reopening.

Join us online for a live stream via Zoom of the Morning Worship service at 10.30 am each Sunday or Virtual Coffee Shop on Tuesdays at 11 am. Read a Thought for the Day or what has been Shared With Us by church members.

12th May 2021

Our project, which has had a long gestation, is about to ‘go live’. Analogies of making the final steps up Everest when the oxygen is thin and you’re tired have been shared… all of us longing for the view and the sense of achievement when we finally reach the summit! I wonder how you respond to busy or stressful periods in life, what helps you through?

Is it just me, or do you find yourself praying with greater intent when the going gets tough? I’ve come across various mobile phone apps at different times and found then helpful. One is called “Sacred Space”. Another is “Lectio 365”. Although it’s style isn’t naturally one I’m drawn to – in recent weeks I’ve found it helpful – a guided opportunity each evening to reflect on the day, take in words from the Bible and engage with a prayer from a well known Christian writer.

I’ve been particularly conscious of, and appreciative of, kindnesses shown… the colleague who brought me tulips because she knew it was a busy time for me; an occasion when colleagues quickly rallied and helped problem solve a new issue that had appeared out of nowhere. These things have kept me going. It feels as if they have almost been the tangible out-workings of what’s described in one of my favourite Bible verses: “but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I hope you too experience kindness and encouragement this day.

Ruth Allen

10th May 2021

One of the threads running through the lectionary readings after Easter, has been the story of the first believers, as recorded in the book of Acts. (We know it as the “Acts of the Apostles”, but the “Acts of God” or the “Acts of the Holy Spirit” are closer to the mark.)

This week we read of Cornelius and Peter in chapter 10. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, had a vision of an angel who instructed him to send for the apostle Peter. Peter had a vision of a cloth sheet filled with “unclean” animals being lowered down from heaven and a voice telling him to visit Cornelius. Peter accompanied the centurion’s messengers and met with Cornelius and all his relatives and friends. As Peter preached the gospel to them, the Holy Spirit fell upon them and they began speaking in tongues in praise of God.

This event is not so well-known as its popular antecedent – the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. But today I want to claim that it is just as important – perhaps even more so for those of us of non-Jewish background. It was the day that the Holy Spirit broke out of the cultural bounds of Israel into the whole world. In Peter’s words, “truly… God shows no partiality but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (2.34–35, NRSV).

That the Spirit of God should fall upon me is… indescribable. I cannot find suitable words. I may not speak in tongues, but I am going to praise God for the gift of his Spirit.

Ian Waddington

Sunday 9th May 2021

Join us LIVE for a streaming service via Zoom at 10.30 am – check your email or contact us for the details.

Following the service, grab a drink and stay with us at 11.30–12.30 for an online coffee shop via Zoom.

A recording of the service should be available here this afternoon.

After starting the video, there will be a full screen button at the top right.

7th May 2021

Confession time! I have broken the rules – or at least one rule. A man came to do some work at our house, and did a very good job. As he left I shook hands with him. Afterwards I realised I shouldn’t have done that, it’s against the pandemic rules.

Shaking hands is one of the things I have missed most, especially the greeting by a deacon when we arrive at church and with the minister as we leave. Shaking hands has an especial place in our Baptist life – when a new member is welcomed he or she is offered ‘the right hand of fellowship’. It’s a bit like the bishops’ apostolic succession – each one is consecrated by one who was consecrated by an earlier one and so on back to the apostles – at least that’s the theory!

Some people, having shaken hands with someone important say they don’t want to wash their hands afterwards (but eventually they do!) and others ask to shake their hand in turn, as if some benign virus is passed on. In the 1920s (before even my time!) there was a popular song: ‘I danced with a man who’s danced with a girl who’s danced with the Prince of Wales’ – same idea.

No – there’s nothing magic about the handshake, but it is symbolic of our friendship and fellowship and it’s the demonstration of that which we miss. But let’s not lose the reality even if we can’t enjoy the symbolism.

David T Roberts

5th May 2021

My dear friend Barbara died 8 years ago tomorrow. She was only 65, too young to die, it was unthinkable. Before she became ill with stomach cancer, her life exuded love, goodness, and positive energy which encompassed her family, her friends, her church and her voluntary work. Her passing left a vacuum in so many lives. We were bereft.

This is an experience that effects all of us as human beings, but this last year has seen an extraordinary number of deaths due to the pandemic. So many are reeling from the shock of unexpected deaths, and are dealing with the sadness, the sorrow and the agonising pain that comes with the gut wrenching realisation that the dearly loved physical presence will never again be there.

I loved Barbara and I know she loved me. Thinking on our friendship now, on the anniversary of her death, has made me contemplate how the disciples felt when Jesus left them and finally disappeared from their sight. Jesus had prepared them for this, but when the inevitable happened they surely knew  grief. Luke writes, that they went back to the upper room in Jerusalem, eleven men, his brothers, Mary his mother and a group of women, as Jesus had told them. So those who would miss him the most supported each other in friendship and in prayer while they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Then they turned their attention to the practical task given to them by Jesus, a task that points the way to the whole mission of the church, the making known of God’s saving love and healing to the whole world.

Elizabeth Webb

3rd May 2021

It’s the May Day Bank Holiday: what memories does this hold for you? In the days when the Baptist Assembly lasted three days, in Blackpool, Bournemouth or Plymouth, this was the day it ended and we set off on a further trip to the Lake District, or Dorset, or North Devon, driving through all the luxuriant abundance of the English springtime. Just as it is today the trees are resplendent in fresh green; delicate wild cherry blossom, white hawthorn and creamy horse chestnut candles show their colours; red campion, white stitchwort and billowing, lacy cow parsley overflow the hedges. Our hearts, too, overflow with joyful praise to God for all these good gifts. Our spirits rise like balloons set free, up into the heavens.

Not this year! Our spirits are weighed down, our hearts ache with the pain as we hear of thousands suffering from coronavirus in India and tragic deaths in Israel. As I pray for these people, it’s suggested that to pray effectively I must enter into their darkness. I try to do that and feel as they feel. But I also want to link my prayer of empathy, my wallowing in their darkness of pain and bereavement, with my joyful praise for the goodness of God’s extravagant provision of new life in springtime. Can I perhaps bring light into darkness, courage, comfort and solace to them from God through the trust, confidence and joy of my prayer of praise?

Lesley Fuller

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Join us LIVE for a streaming service via Zoom at 10.30 am – check your email or contact us for the details.

This service includes communion – Michael will lead communion in the usual way, so if you want to join in, prepare beforehand with a piece of bread and a glass of something red.

Following the service, grab a drink and stay with us at 11.30–12.30 for an online coffee shop via Zoom.

A recording of the service should be available here this afternoon.

After starting the video, there will be a full screen button at the top right.

30th April 2021

In a recent thought for the day, Graham asked what the future might look like for us. Last week a report by the Trussell Trust suggested that there may be more hungry people on our doorstep. The number of food parcels that have been distributed by them in our area has more than doubled in the past 5 years and risen sharply during the pandemic.

There are three reasons given for this worrying increase:

  • Problems with the benefits system
  • Challenging life experiences and ill-health
  • Lack of support – including access to debt advice services

We have a good record at Tyndale of supporting our local foodbank and of sharing food informally. But it may be a while before we are doing that in quite the same way. If we have to do things differently, could we offer more support to those in most need by finding out about the problems with the benefits system and lobbying for change? Or by finding our local debt counselling service and training to volunteer? And how best can we support someone who is finding that life is posing greater challenges than they can bear?

Nick Parsons

28th April 2021

For the last twenty or more years a great injustice has been happening. Local sub-postmasters in their hundreds have been criminalised, prosecuted, sometimes imprisoned, often forced into financial and reputational ruin. Now it is clear that what they were saying all along was true; they had done nothing wrong.

It seems extraordinary in hindsight, and quite irrational, yet, all over, something truly evil was happening right in the heart of England.

Hannah Arendt famously, in reflecting on the Holocaust, coined the phrase ‘the banality of evil’. There are, of course, lots of terrible things in the world; in India at the moment; perhaps supremely in the Holocaust itself.

Still, the ‘banality of evil’; often evil does not appear to be horrific. Sometimes it’s happening in the local town hall or planning office, or management meeting – or church? Institutional racism reports suggest so; the need for safeguarding policies suggests so. This kind of evil might just be personal prejudice writ large, wrong decisions compounded, perhaps a computer malfunction, trust misplaced. Often it doesn’t appear at all. Often there is delusion, cover-up, insincerity, over-zealous reporting.

Maybe there is something in the Bible’s description of the devil disguising himself as an angel of light – evil in ordinary, indeed.

Sometimes overcoming evil means building transparent systems, effective systems of justice and avoiding the rush to judgement. Always it involves humility and a willingness to admit to mistakes and frailty. Thank goodness for the understanding of God’s grace in Jesus words from the cross, or else we would all be lost, ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’.

Michael Docker

26th April 2021

What a week of tumultuous events! First Prince Philip’s funeral and learning so much more about his full and fruitful life. Then the easing of lockdown: joyful reunions, shopping, alfresco meals and drinks and live worship at Tyndale. Next the UK government‘s new goal for reducing carbon emissions: 78% down on 1990 levels by 2035. In football, Superleague proposed and collapsed: triumph of supporter power over billionaire owner greed. Latest: Derek Chauvin found guilty of the murder of George Floyd with mobile phone footage crucial evidence in the conviction, [coincidence… chauvinism: extreme belief in the superiority of one’s own race or country over all others].

Is there a thread running through all these events and what can we learn from them? All are positive for good and each carries with it the potential for the development of new initiatives.

— Prince Philip’s legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme: new skills and new futures for thousands of youngsters world wide.

— Easing of lockdown brings ‘normality’ nearer: people getting their jobs back, holidays, Tyndale’s outreach programme restarting. All these not yet but coming.

— The carbon emissions goal: most potential, most urgent, will require most effort and change and is most challenging.

— The football fiasco: shakeup of the league structure and more power for supporters.

— The George Floyd verdict must lead to a real revolution in US policing and a boost for the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.

So let us rejoice in each one, work to make each potential real and see God at work in each one.

Lesley Fuller