Welcome to the family feb 2021

Welcome to the Family (February 2021)

Five churches and five church plants have joined FIEC as independent churches working together to reach Britain for Christ.

Affiliations

Given the Covid crisis over the last year, I have not kept up with reporting the new churches that have joined FIEC since last March. It is hugely encouraging that we have continued to affiliate new churches, and interest in affiliation has increased during this time as churches realise the benefit of working together rather than standing alone.

At our National Recognition Team meeting in December, we affiliated five new churches, reflective of the geographical and cultural diversity encompassed by FIEC.

Gracemount Community Church, Edinburgh

Gracemount Community Church was planted in 2017 on a council estate in Edinburgh and is part of 20Schemes.

  • Gracemount 1

    Gracemount Community Church

It is led by Andy Prime and a team of elders, and now has a regular attendance of around 50 adults and 15 children. It is hugely encouraging that they have seen four professions of faith and three baptisms in the last year. They also belong to Acts 29.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

  • Support and encouragement.
  • Shared resources.
  • Legal expertise and help.
  • To be part of the ‘national voice’.
  • To help the church see we are part of something bigger.

Hardwick Baptist Church, Stockton-on-Tees

Hardwick Baptist Church was planted in 1959. Matt Oliver is the pastor and leads the eldership, who work closely with a team of deacons.

Hardwick is one of the largest housing estates in Stockton-on-Tees with some 7,000 residents. The church has a regular congregation of 75 adults and 15 children, and they saw two professions of faith in the last year. They also belong to Affinity and the North East Gospel Partnership.

  • Hardwick Sunday 18

    Hardwick Baptist Church

  • Hardwick Sunday 25

    Hardwick Baptist Church

Their reasons for joining were:

“As we are no longer part of the Baptist Union, we want to be connected to a national group with whom we agree and can partner. We hope to gain fellowship, support, and partnership. We hope to be able to contribute the same thing and maybe help further the discussion about, and work in, deprived communities.”

Cromer Baptist Church, Norfolk

Cromer Baptist Church was founded in 1902. They are a small church in north Norfolk and meet in a Methodist building in East Runton.

They are led by Jon Davies and have a congregation of 22 adults. They belong to Affinity and are entered in the Grace Directory of Churches.

  • Cromer baptist

    Cromer Baptist Church

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

  • “To establish and formalise links with a recognised ‘fellowship’ of UK churches, so that we identify and (in the case of a potential challenge to our validity as a group of Christians) to be identified more definitively as belonging with evangelical Christians.”
  • “To establish greater security and certainty for our ‘legal’ standing as a Church, with issues such as trusteeship.”
  • “To pursue new charitable status as is to be legally required.”
  • “To have administrative, legal, practical, and spiritual advice and guidance available in a way that has not been readily available to us as a small, unaffiliated church.”
  • “To continue to provide warm fellowship to a potentially greater number of visitors through being known more widely amongst a group of churches (we are glad this has occurred anyway) with whom our links will be more obvious.”
  • “To both share needs with, and bring encouragement to, similar churches to ours.”

New Hope Christian Church, Sheffield

New Hope Christian Church was founded in 2017 and is a largely mono-ethnic church of immigrants and refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Their main language is Kinyarwanda, but their services are bi-lingual (also English). They have a regular congregation of over 90 and have seen 15 professions of faith and four baptisms since 2019.

They meet in a community centre which is also used by the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Their pastors are Patrick Sebagabo and Bihonzi Gedeon.

  • New Hope Sheffield

    New Hope Christian Church, Sheffield

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

  • Need to belong to a big Christian family.
  • Access the available resources.
  • Greater Christian network.
  • To share the word of God and experience with wider fellowship.

Caergwrle Evangelical Church, Wrexham

Caergwrle Evangelical Church was planted in 1972 in Flintshire, North Wales. It is currently without a pastor and is led by a team of elders.

The church has a congregation of 20 adults and seven children. They are also a member of the Associated Evangelical Churches of Wales (AECW).

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“We think we would benefit from fellowship with a larger, more outward focused, mission-minded group of churches. We have the need for, and would benefit from, training and networking opportunities with other leaders who hold firmly to Biblical truths. As we seek a new pastor, there would be a larger sphere to make our needs known for prayer and consideration.”

Recognised Church Plants

It is especially encouraging that church planting has continued throughout this COVID period, and we had recognised five new plants in the last three months of 2020:

  • City Church Wolverhampton.
  • Christ Church Queensferry, Edinburgh.
  • Rochdale Evangelical Church.
  • All Nations Barkingside, London.
  • Bridge Church Peckham, London.

I am also pleased that there were no church closures or resignations in this period. As a result of these latest affiliations and recognitions, there are now 639 gatherings that are part of the FIEC family.

You can find out more about FIEC becoming an affiliated church on our Join us page.

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