Rural community sees fruit from seeds sown
Barnack Community Church has been intentionally doing activities in their local community and are now reaping the harvest, explains minister Graham Dunn
Barnack is a small rural community of 900 people situated between Stamford and Peterborough. Twelve years ago Barnack Baptist Church was formed by a small group of local Christians who met in the village hall. The church was encouraged and supported by Bretton Baptist Church with whom we continue to have a close link.
In 2013 the Baptist churched joined with Barnack Methodist Church, a small fellowship of six retired people who came with a heart to serve, they also brought with them a ‘cosy’ chapel. The church was re-named Community Church at this time.
Barnack Community Church has had an intentional desire to make relationships with people and to foster a sense of belonging and to introduce people to Jesus from the start. We have been particularly blessed with the toddler group ‘Little Lambs’ through which we have seen wonderful personal and kingdom growth. Little Lambs is thriving and is bringing families to ‘Messy Church’ and drawing people into programmes such as Christianity Explored. We recently ran a Christianity Explored course with four mums from Little Lambs and three of our new ‘Methodist’ friends. At the end of the course four people asked to be baptised and 12 children are to participate in a ‘Dedication and Thanksgiving’ service.
On Sunday 9 February we had our baptism service and we were delighted when four baptisms became five. It must be one of the oldest baptisms on record – Jockey 86, Kim 83, Ted 78, Joyce 77, and Chanel who is much younger!
The service was a delight, with beautiful testimonies.
Over the past 10 years we have had 25 baptisms and feel very blessed and privileged to be used by God to reflect his love into our community.
Our experience of rural ministry is ‘the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few’. We have limited resources and therefore have to be wise in how we deploy them.
Experience has taught us that building relationships and a sense of belonging is essential if we are to take people to a place where they are ready to be introduced to our Lord and Saviour. Messy Church, men’s breakfast, toddler group etc, are the places where we have seen God at work and where we have been blessed by joining in with what God is already doing.
Graham Dunn is the minister of Barnack Community Church