Building work begins today

The day has finally arrived! The members of Didsbury Baptist Church have been raising funds and planning to remodel the church’s building for many years. Today the builders are scheduled to arrive on site and start the work that will open up all kinds of new possibilities for our ministry and mission.

Last week we cleared out the sanctuary so that building work can begin. Thank you to all our friends, especially Didsbury United Reformed Church, for storing our furniture and equipment.

An empty sanctuary

Last Sunday, we held our first service at Beaver Road Primary School. We will be meeting there every Sunday until our new sanctuary is completed.

First Sunday at Beaver Road School - almost ready

This Sunday Stephen Ibbotson will be our preacher at the school. If you do not already worship elsewhere or you are visiting Didsbury, you would be very welcome to join us on Sunday at 10.30 a.m.

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Exploring the Story

We continue with Exploring the Story (details below) this coming Saturday. About a dozen of us, from three south Manchester churches, are using the three-part course to help us explore the Bible. On Saturday we will be concentrating on the Prophets. There is still room to join us this week if you are interested. Just drop me a line at robert@didsburybaptist.org.uk.

Thank you Scott!

Model of DBCIf you have ever been to Didsbury Baptist Church and if you know anything at all about our building project, you just have to see the work of Scott Miller! I have never met Scott (though I hope in the New Year to do so). A third-year BA (Hons) student in Modelmaking at the Arts University College in Bournemouth, Scott has (almost) completed a 1:100 scale model of the proposed developments for our church building.

OK, I know nothing about model-making but to my mind Scott has done an outstanding job of representing our building as we hope it will soon become. He has documented his creative journey on his blog at http://year3externalbrief.blogspot.com/. If you take a look, you’ll find some exquisite pictures of the (more-or-less) finished product. But don’t stop there; read Scott’s archives and follow the process from beginning to end. Scott’s journey is fascinating and the model, brilliant!

Advent

The season of Advent begins tomorrow (Sunday 28 November). For the churches that observe it, the season is one of hope, expectancy and waiting as Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. At Didsbury Baptist Church we will concentrate on Advent themes and light candles on the Advent Wreath Sunday by Sunday. Many of us will also participate in a daily Bible-reading scheme. As we read, we will pray, listen and open our hearts to what the Spirit may be saying to us. On Wednesday evenings we will meet together to discuss what we are learning, hear Advent music and sing some Advent songs, and pray for each other and for the world. The season offers an opportunity to stop and be quiet, to resist some of the frenzied activity associated with the run up to Christmas and listen for the voice of God.

You can join us in our Advent journey here. Each day of Advent, I will upload the Bible readings for the day with a short reflection. (If you would like to see the readings in advance, download them here.) I invite comments and responses of your own. You can leave these in the comments area below each post. I hope other members of the Church might provide some of the articles and perhaps some artistic responses to the daily readings along the way.

Daily Advent reflections can be found on other Internet sites too; see, for example, hopefulimagination.

Photos from our church weekend away

The first photos from our weekend away are in. These are by Anna and feature  Saturday evening’s home-made entertainment, earth hour and a few photos of (not quite) the whole group (can you work out who is missing? There is the photographer a certain one who arrived too late to get in the pic and someone who seems to be hiding behind Mavis). Enjoy!

Church Weekend Away

Many of us from DBC spent last weekend at Thornleigh Hotel in Grange over Sands where we held a very enjoyable Church Weekend Away. The venue was excellent. About forty five of us went and, as far as I am aware, everyone had a great time. We had opportunity to worship, learn and pray together and time to socialize and just be together. The photo below shows most of the group though one of our number missed the photo op. and one was serving as photographer. Other than that, most of the groups is pictured below. Other photos will follow (if you have any send them to me and I’ll include them).

Sacred Space

Baptists are not always very keen on the idea of sacred space. Some point to the idea that the whole world is God’s creation, others to the idea that we can encounter God anywhere. Either way, every space might be thought of as sacred space. Other Baptists take issue with symbols and signs thinking that even crosses and candles might themselves become idols detracting from the true worship of God. Yet even if we agree with these ways of thinking, we surely can still hold out for some imaginative expression in the design of space usually set aside for worship. The worship-spaces in some of today’s buildings lack any symbolic focus. They look more like school halls, auditoriums, concert halls or theatres than like sanctuaries. We, at Didsbury Baptist Church, are thinking about these issues because our building needs work and we are planning to make some significant changes to it both inside and out. While we ask how we should reorder our sanctuary for the future, we are left still to make the most of what we have now. One of the ways we are able to do this is through the use of symbols and lighting. Steve, our lighting technician, works hard to produce an environment that speaks of the welcoming love of God for all who enter our doors. The photo above shows how the sanctuary looked just before we lit the candles in advance of our candlelight carol service on Christmas Eve. I think the place looked spectacular. Great job Steve, many thanks!

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