A new stage of Baptist life began this week, as the Revd Lynn Green started her term as General Secretary.
Ms Green was elected at the Baptist Assembly in May and becomes the first female General Secretary of our Baptist Union of Great Britain.
Her vision, she explained, is that as a Union ‘we cast off the institutional mind-set that has served us well in the past, and embrace a new way of being for the 21st century.’
‘I long to see local churches being encouraged and supported to transition beyond inherited church into vibrant mission communities,’ she said.
‘I hope that we will be adventurous, take more risks and above all, be Kingdom possibility thinkers!’
In a tribal world, she continued, she wants our Union to be known for our ‘profound and rich diversity in unity, diverse yet integrated.’
‘As Baptists we are blessed that we are formed of those from many nations; we have so much to learn from each other in our journey to become Christ-centred communities.
‘We are committed to the priesthood of all believers, where women and men, young and old, rich and poor, are encouraged and released to serve the Lord, each one differently abled and unique.’
Ms Green’s arrival as new General Secretary on Monday coincided with the launch of a new identity, website and magazine, Baptists Together
The rebranding represents the new emphasis of relationship and working alongside each other. The logo has been designed around the shape of a letter b, but retaining core symbols that have been used by our Union for more than half a century.
The website brings together all things Baptist into one place. All 13 Associations and six Colleges of the Union are central to the website, with a church finder to the 2150 local churches. There is a new online shop facility and the Union’s news service since 1855 The Baptist Times
, now takes a prominent place, with new interactive features.
The magazine Baptists Together
also represents the collaborative approach, with an editorial board and contributions drawn from across our Union.
It will be produced three times a year and four copies have been sent to each church. Additional copies can be bought from the online shop
The Revd Stephen Keyworth, Team Leader, Faith and Society Team said, ‘The new website is the result of a huge amount of hard work from a small F&S Team supported by Baptists Together in churches, Associations, Colleges and other Specialist Teams. It marks many new beginnings, but its real value will be as it grows and develops as people use it and interact with it.’
What people have said about the new identity and website
The Revd Dianne Tidball: Regional Team Leader East Midlands Baptist Association
“I think people will be delighted by its fresh and dynamic look.
‘It will be a really valuable tool for connecting the regional and the national. I can see already there will be more links between the two websites, meaning people will be able to more easily find what they’re looking for.’
The Revd Paul Hills: Regional Team Leader Eastern Baptist Association
‘It has a very clear and clean look, and represents a fresh start for a new era in Baptist life. It’s also an inclusive website that integrates the Associations far more closely. It’s certainly an attempt to stress our unity, and it’s a resource that will hopefully enable people to access the information they want, both nationally and locally through Associations.’
Mr David Locke: Team Leader Support Services
‘It has a very modern, fresh and dynamic look, and is a better expression of our identity as Baptists together, drawing together our churches, Associations, colleges and specialist teams, all working together. It is designed to enable easier access to valuable information, and I hope that those in our churches will see a difference.
‘I’m very pleased with the new features, and there is potential to keep building improvements into it to enable Baptist life to flourish.’
The Revd Phil Jump: Regional Team Leader, North Western Baptist Association
‘It’s not just about a website, but what it represents, namely the collaborative approach – so much wouldn’t be there if others hadn’t come onside.
‘Of course it also represents a huge amount of hard work and commitment on the part of those working on it.’
Mr Jump also was a key part of the editorial team of Baptists Together, the new magazine of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. ‘I just hope people can engage with it, and that it can become a real resource for Baptist Christians to help deepen their faith walk and their understanding of the communities they are part of.’