A request for prayer from Andrea and Mark Hotchkin, two of MBC’s mission partners as they fly back to Chad

Just a quick update on our travels. We have nearly finished our time in France and are now fattened up by croissants and  camembert and ready to fly to Chad .

We leave at midday on Wednesday and will arrive in the evening .Then we will need to quarantine for 6 days  before finally flying to Bardai on the 12th July.

So far all is going well. As they fly back to Chad

Please pray for our PCR tests coming through on time and being negative .

And for smooth travel and entry to Chad.

Thank you so much we will be sending a more detailed prayer up date when we arrive in Chad

Andrea and Mark 

Church at Home, Sunday 27th June sees us continuing our DEVOTED to theme

In this week’s Church at Home we are thinking about devoting ourselves to Sharing a Meal. Taking 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 23 to 26 as our text we continue to explore the opportunities that present themselves when a church takes devotion to Jesus, to the community in which it sits and to one another seriously. 

Our  live stream welcome will be on Facebook at 10.45 either at facebook.com/moortownbaptistchurch or HERE and the link to our prerecorded programme is HERE

Read More…

Two important events, a table top sale and a cream tea, note the dates now!

Hi everyone. Just a couple of forthcoming events to save the date for. Both events will be taking place at MBC under the gazebo in the MBC car park.
Table Top Sale  – Saturday 3rd July, 2pm-4pm
Rent a table and sell your wares!
Cost to rent a table £10 – proceeds to Caring For Life
Anything you make on your sales you keep.
We currently have tables selling: Greetings cards and pictures
                                                           Romanian crafts
                                                           Hand knitted items
If you would like to book a table please contact Karen Ross on karen.r6oss@ntlworld.com
Cream Tea – Sunday 25th July – 2pm-4pm
All welcome. Donations in aid of the church we support in Romania. Provided Covid regulations permit we’re hoping that John and Sue Wilson, two of MBC’s BMS missionary partners currently working in Paris will be able to join us. 

Lessons in the desert: Moses, thoughts and prayers

When the going gets tough, the tough get…..

We all go through tough times. We often find ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable, uncertain, and insecure, but God wants to teach us important lessons as He leads us through a shaping process. Process is key. Lessons of trust and faith are not learned instantly. We learn lessons of faith and trust over time and often through unsettling experiences. It is a long process. God takes His time, to bring us from the tough place into something better. This was the case for the Israelites and Moses.

The area of Goshen, a huge region of ancient Egypt, east of the Nile delta, had been granted to Joseph, Jacob and their descendants by the Pharaoh, and inhabited by the Israelites until the Exodus and their escape. It was a place of separation from Egyptian culture, and a place of comfort and plenty, a land suitable for crops and livestock, granted to them by the favour of Pharaoh. It was in Goshen, that the people had settled for over 400 years but had also endured years of slavery.

But when the children of Israel were dramatically delivered from Egypt, God was going to take them across the Sinai Peninsula, a desert area of vast size, into the wilderness and there His lessons in trust would begin. When Pharaoh saw that the escaping Israelites were heading into the wilderness he surely felt confident that he could stop them in their tracks. Pharaoh believed “they are entangled in the land – the wilderness has shut them in”. In his mind, the desert and the wilderness would be the end of the escaping Israelites and they would be recaptured and brought back to Egypt. But at the Red Sea, God delivered them in a dramatic way and continued to guide them by the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

The Israelites were then taken to the wilderness, to Shur, a journey of three days and thirty-three miles. As they found no water there, at this point, the murmuring and complaining began. They continued to Marah where again their need for water was now urgent, but the water there was bitter and undrinkable. By this time, the people were complaining about Moses himself and pleading, “what shall we drink?” When Moses cried to the Lord, the Lord showed him how to turn the water sweet and it was here at Marah, that the Lord “proved them”.

Travelling on to Elim, the hungry people again complained and murmured. God again intervened and provided quail in the evening and manna in the morning-enough food for each day’s needs- no more and no less.

At Rephidim, the trouble and disquiet started again, as again, there was no water to be found.

Therefore, the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But, the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Exodus 17

It was at Mount Horeb that Moses struck the rock and the waters flowed to satisfy the thirst of the people and their livestock. At each point in the journey to the Promised land, this new beginning, new challenges appeared for the Israelites, their hearts failed them, and they looked back to what they once had, but God always made new provision. God was faithful to his promises. God is always faithful.

“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honour me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,

 rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise. Isaiah 43 v 18-21

The desert is beautiful. What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Then, on the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If any man is thirsty, he can come to me and drink! The man who believes in me, as the scripture says, will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (Here he was speaking about the Spirit which those who believe in him would receive. John 7 v 37

A Prayer

Father God, I like my comfortable place, the familiar, the safe, the secure. I don’t like the unknown, the shifting sand, the stepping out into a strange and uncertain future. When things are hard, I complain and murmur and doubt and accuse and find fault. I want to go back to the safe space.

Help me to trust you and your plan for my life. The route that you have planned is a good one, a perfect one with precious lessons for me to learn. But I am impatient. I want to arrive quickly. Help me to stick with the journey and not look back.

I am parched and dry. Those around me in family, community, church and world are thirsty for something real, for living water. You have promised water in the dry and wilderness places. You are faithful.


Jane Coates

Church at Home, Sunday 20th June. Communion and then our DEVOTED to series focusses on fellowship

This Sunday’s Church at Home continues our series of being devoted, and this week with Luke chapter 14 as our text (the parable of the Great Banquet) we focus on being devoted to fellowship. 

At 10.45am we’ll be live on Facebook either HERE or at facebook.com/moortownbaptistchurch and then following on from that our pre-recorded programme will be available on our YouTube channel. 

A link to our YouTube material is HERE

However, before any of this begins Shelley will be hosting a Communion Service for which invitations will be sent out by email. 

The YBA invites Shelley to talk about the challenges she faces planning and running inter-generational church

Recently, Jodie Thorpe, the Yorkshire Baptist Association’s Children, Youth and Families Enabler asked Shelley Dring if she would write a piece for the YBA newsletter focusing on the challenges she faced producing an inter-generational programme that took a truly 24/7 approach to being church.

There’s a taster above but you can read the full story either HERE or at https://www.yba.org.uk/news-events/

In the story Shelley tells of the huge challenge MBC faced when lockdown one forced us to close our doors and move the vast majority of our activities – from the Sunday morning Service to toddlers and homegroups on line. She talks about Moortot’s special YouTube channel, about the twice weekly broadcasts she and her two children, Rowan and Daisy, put out and about how during our newly invented Church at Home she would take a theme and in a way which was accessible to all age groups work alongside fellow staff and a team of volunteers to read the message, dance the message, paint the message, sing the message and explore it.

Turning to the future Shelley is keen to ensure that when whatever the new “normal” does emerge we don’t loose sight of what the last fifteen months or so have taught us. The church, she says is very different now in many ways. For instance she feels that the lines have been blurred between ages, MBC is now more community than building focussed and sermons or talks are different – not only in style but the via the individuality and uniqueness that those who are willing and able to lead add to the mix. She also talks about our new garden project, the various events we have organised in our carpark and more recently still the role the gazebo has played in providing space for any number of things; from a plant sale to prayer.

Please do read Shelley’s article. She alongside our other staff members have and continue to do a superb job during these difficult times. May God bless them.   

Cream Tea Special, a perfect way to while away a summer afternoon

What could be nicer than the sun beating down from a cloudless blue sky, a nice cup of tea and a cream tea… answers on a postcard please.

That was the scene in MBC’s gazebo last Wednesday as Carole Smith and her Lunch Club team served up the second of their Cream Tea Specials, this time to ten guests. 

For some it was a first trip out for weeks if not months, for others it was a welcome break from simply sitting at home or in the garden. However, for all it was a golden opportunity to gather together, just as they did pre Covid and enjoy each each other’s company.

Huge thanks to all the team; to the drivers, the bakers, the setter uppers, the washer uppers and especially to maestro John Hornby who throughout the afternoon serenaded the partygoers with some lovely music.   

COVID-19 NOTICEBOARD. Hopefully July 19th will see all restrictions eased

Month long wait for lifting of Covid restrictions

The latest government guidelines (and rules) re what you can and can’t do can be found HERE 

Until July 19th you should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.

  • Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.
  • Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
  • People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events is capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
  • Organised indoor sport can take place for all. This includes gym classes. It must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • Funeral attendance is no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events have been increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
  • The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
  • All higher education students are able to access in-person teaching.
  • Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)
  • There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.

In regard to reopening churches for services, the very latest guidance from the Baptist Union can be found HERE 

Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Bereavement Support   

                                                             Ways to volunteer 

Face coverings

Support for people experiencing domestic abuse

Support for Older People 

Practical help and advice

Support for Carers

Information on food

Information on activities and online resources during lockdown

Scams to watch out for

       Although we have reduced the number of scam alerts please make sure you read the latest ones. These are all different notices and while they may look the same they are added to regularly so please keep checking.

Please note that the content of third party links is outside our control, and so please notify us if any are broken.

Q and A. Another thought provoking contribution to our new series of blogs

Question:  Since you grew up in a religious family was there ever a moment that you doubted your beliefs?

Answer:  growing up in a religious family does not naturally produce faith.  One learns to talk about matters relating to faith, as though it is as ordinary a part of life as eating or the weather. I picked up considerable knowledge of the Bible and of Christian teachings by the time I was a teenager.  

But that did not necessarily imply ‘faith’ in any meaningful sense.  It was accepted and made clear that faith was,  on one side, the gift of God,  and on the other side, my side, an acceptance of the gift, implying, more importantly, a personal commitment to God.  Nobody was born a Christian, being a Christian is a responsible informed choice. 

The family was happy and parents were convincingly supportive always, even though in  some periods there was serious poverty, insecurity and ill-health.  So as children we were not put off the faith of our parents by feeling they had let us down.   The fact that they understood faith was a deep meaningful personal commitment meant that they respected our autonomy in such an important matter from very early on. 

So I became a Christian knowing what I was doing.  I was taking a stand, which was not shared by everyone.  Sometimes it needed explaining, sometimes defending.  That was not always easy, but it was implied in what I was taking on in being a Christian. 

Some people become religious without understanding  it as  choice and commitment, and so when faith becomes unpopular or seems to be contradicted by the pains of life, they are disappointed and upset.  

Christian faith, as it was presented to me, involved a life choice to follow Jesus as Lord and Saviour.  This concept of Christian faith is drawn pretty directly and simply from the Gospels, which tell how Jesus chose disciples to be with him, and to follow him, and to share in his work.  As they followed him, it became clear that their life with him could not be plain-sailing, and certainly would not be a ‘spiritual’  existence somehow insulated from the realities of the present world.  Jesus from the beginning was involved in difficulties, which intensified as he went towards the final showdown in Jerusalem.   Some gave up on Jesus, but the disciples stayed with him – just. 

That was the model of being a Christian offered to me.  It is a tough model.   It either turns people off or builds backbone. 

The story of Jesus takes into account the profoundest reasons for doubting God, the goodness of God, the worth of earthly life,  and so it speaks to us when we feel such pressures.  And if we are alive, responsible and caring in the world as it is, those pressures are inescapable.  

But the story of Jesus is a story of faith and more than faith – it is the story of a man who lived closely, intimately, daringly and self-givingly, in oneness with the heavenly Father.  On the cross, the man was reduced to himself alone, broken and insufficient,  reduced to what he could see in his narrow deadly situation.  But God was faithful:  God had been living and making the story of Jesus with Jesus, and now God picks up the ruins and carries on the story by raising Jesus to newness of life and opening up his story as an invitation to all people to join in.  So the story of Jesus, taken as a whole, is a joyful, hopeful story, not because it cultivated unrealistic fantasy, but precisely because it lives on earth, through all that earthly and human life brings.   It lived on earth: it goes on living on earth. 

So we can see through this story how God is God of and for the whole world, as we experience it.  God not merely sources the world, but inhabits it in intimate universal availability, and more, claims and owns it as God’s own.  God is not ashamed of Jesus the human being who was broken on the Cross, God is not afraid to be committed to this world which breaks Jesus and many others with him.  God does not solve the ‘problem’ of this rotten world – don’t pretend it is  otherwise – by sweeping it out of the way and making a new model;  God loves the world, owns it, works at it and with it, along with suffering fellow-workers.    

So I can’t say ‘I never doubted my beliefs’ because that terminology does not fit the situation.     I could understand that phrasing when arguing with teenage friends, who were atheists, who thought my beliefs empty and without reason.  And sometimes in those days, I might have tried to answer them in their own terms – I cannot remember.  I suspect that from very early on, I would be talking in the way I have outlined here.  Simply put, I don’t so much ‘have beliefs’  (which means ‘religious opinions’?) but I commit myself to Jesus, which is a life, rather than a set of opinions.  Jesus does not protect me from things that produce doubt, but takes me through them by sharing the life of God.

The life of God is full of positives, and God invites us to concentrate on them: Seek the Lord and his righteousness. It is easy to use up energy trying to answer doubt, and to have none left to build from and with the positive. The positive of God who so loved the world that he gave his only Son that we might have life through him. 

Haddon Willmer 

Lessons in the desert, part 2

A travelogue – into the unknown.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the summons to go out to a place which he would eventually possess, and he set out in complete ignorance of his destination. It was faith that kept him journeying like a foreigner through the land of promise, with no more home than the tents which he shared with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs with him of the promise. Hebrews 11

Abram, at the age of 75, was called by God to leave Haran, a place of security and stability, and to step out into an uncharted, unknown land, but a promised land, even though that land was already occupied. God had promised Abram a land, a blessing and a nation that would come from Abram and Sarai. Believing God’s promises, Abram became a tent dweller travelling south, with no permanent base or land of his own, and so the chapters in Genesis read a little bit like his travelogue. Abram travelled to Sychar, then on to Bethel and his journey with family and flocks would take him hundreds of miles from his first home in Ur of the Chaldeans (now Iraq).

While trusting God and His promises, with the occurrence of a devastating famine in this parched, inhospitable land, Abram feared that he would not be able to provide for his family and livestock, and so travelled to the safety of Egypt. This decision to go south into Egypt was a very human, rational, understandable, and life-saving decision, to escape famine. But God had called Abram to a promised land and not to Egypt. In alarming, and worrying circumstances, God’s promise still held true. Even though Egypt would prove to be a place of trouble, trauma and setback for Abram and Sarai, and there would be challenging consequences in connection with Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid that they took with them, God continued to bless and protect them, bringing them out to a better place, with lessons learned about faith and trust. God’s long-term plan for Abram, Sarai and their descendants, no human error or weakness could ultimately disrupt.

Leaving Egypt, Abram travelled across the Negev Desert, the largest area of desert in Israel, returning to Bethel. It was here that Abram and Lot parted company. This was a difficult separation. Abram gave first choice of the land to Lot, Lot choosing the fertile plains of the River Jordan, leaving Abram with the area around Hebron. From a human perspective, Abram’s land would seem to be second best and far from ideal. But God here renewed His promises to Abram and Abram built his altar of thankfulness. God again promised that all the land that Abram could see would be his, and that his descendants would be like the dust of the desert, so vast a number that they could not be counted. Abram’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars-that were so clearly visible in the desert night sky.

Abram and his descendants would not take ownership of the land for more than 400 years and only after the Israelites had escaped captivity in Egypt. Abram himself would only ever own a small piece of land near Hebron that he purchased for a burial ground. Yet Abraham, the ‘Father of Nations’, would be known as one of the great heroes of faith. Abram had no road map for where he was going and the timing of it, but he stepped out in faith- one step at a time.

Jane Coates

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