The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) is the Baptist family in England and Wales (there is also the Baptist Union of Wales). It is made up of churches, regional associations and Baptist colleges. The Union works with others in mission locally, regionally and internationally. Three Specialist Teams based at Baptist House in Didcot offer help, advice and resources.
It is a diverse union with small and large congregations, different nationalities and differing styles of worship yet united by core values and a common purpose of changing lives and transforming communities with the message and love of Jesus Christ.
Churches form the front-line of Baptist mission. 1,981 churches belong to the Union, each of them autonomous, self-funding and the majority of them financially independent.
Most churches have their own building, but others meet in homes, schools, community centres and other public places. Some follow a traditional style of worship, whilst others are trying new ways of doing church to attract people that can find church alien to their culture and way of life. Churches will normally meet for worship on Sunday but will also have meetings during the week like bible study groups, parents and toddlers, youth clubs, lunch clubs, etc.
Some churches in the Union are not solely Baptist but a combination of two or more denominations known as a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP)
. Baptist churches in some areas have formed a 'cluster' and many work with other denominations on joint mission events and projects for their communities.
There are Baptist churches with a team of ministers, whilst others may have a part-time minister or no minister at all. A national fund, Home Mission
, provides grants to those churches who would struggle to finance a minister's wages or an evangelism project on their own. Home Mission also financially supports the work of Associations and the three national specialist teams.
In 2012, the Baptist Union Council agreed a set of values and principles on which the work of the Union is based. Central to these values is the vision of: 'Growing healthy churches to participate in the mission of God'.