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Bexley church to welcome new minister

Albany Park Baptist Church in Bexley, will be celebrating the arrival of their new Pastor the Revd Craig Downes at a special Induction Service and supper to be held on Saturday (28 September).

Around 150 friends and church representatives are expected to attend. The service will be led by Revd Peter Clarke who has been the Moderator for the church for the past eighteen months. The act of Induction will be led by Revd Geoff Andrews, Regional Minister of the London Baptist Association. The sermon will be given by Revd Dr Tony Rich, Spurgeon’s College.

Craig is 48, is married to Joanne and has four daughters.  He was born and grew up in Southern Africa. He came to the UK as an Opera Singer and had a very successful career for 15 years, singing with the Welsh and English National Operas as well as a diverse international career in Opera, Operetta, Oratorio and an array of concert work in all manner of venues. His musical gifts were then directed to founding the Chepstow Musical Youth Theatre for children aged 6 -18, where he served as Director/Conductor for six years.

He was invited to project manage the development of an ecumenical Christian Book/Coffee Shop in Chepstow, which he then managed. Here he felt a call to Pastoral Ministry and served Chepstow Baptist Church in a Lay Pastoral role for seven years.

Since 2010, he has served as a Minister in Training at Enfield Baptist Church with special responsibility for Men’s Ministry while, at the same time, studying at Spurgeon’s College. He graduated there in 2012 and is currently busy completing an MA in Advanced Christian Studies.
Craig is passionate about good coffee, cooking, spy thrillers, Sci-fi, walking, and travel in general.

He has a keen interest in Rugby and Cricket - particularly when the Springboks are winning. Most of all, Craig is passionate about all people becoming the very best that they are meant to be and is happy to discuss any (or all) of the above!

Commenting on his new appointment Craig said, 'I am looking forward to this opportunity and feel honoured, humbled and excited at the prospect of serving the Church and the Community here in Bexley - as individuals, as a fellowship, and as a community as we all journey together. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know people in the church and the community.'

Church Secretary, Geraldine Alliston, said, 'This is an exciting fresh start for the church at Albany Park. We have been looking for a long time for a pastor who is approachable and has a passion and ability to reach out to all people in our community. In Craig we believe we have found that gift and many more.'

Craig has already embarked on a busy schedule of getting out and meeting people. On 22 September he will be conducting his first  Baptism service at Albany Park, Then on 5 – 6 October he will be leading the church’s Harvest Mission weekend when the community will be invited to donate food for the Bexley Foodbank and unwanted tools for Tools With A Mission (TWAM).
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