Barnwell Baptist Church
Barnwell Baptist Church was planted in the late 1940s in a growing post-war Council estate on the north east edge of Cambridge
Fifty years later, having become independent in the 1960’s, the church had been without a minister for almost 30 years and was in decline - the church remaining open thanks to the faithfulness of a few (the average attendance was about eight).
In 2004, with the support of Home Mission and St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church (St A’s), the Revd Stuart Wood led a team to start work at the Church, moving to Barnwell full-time in 2007 with 12 members from St A’s.
Today, membership stands at 48; we’ve had 18 baptisms over the past five years, and our average attendance is now over 50 - with us creeping towards 60 regularly attending. However, those numbers, while encouraging, only tell part of the story. The ministry of Barnwell Baptist Church extends far beyond the four walls of the Church. As a community we seek to be generous with our resources, our building, our time and our minister.
The Church releases Stuart to serve as Chaplain to Cambridge United Football Club and he is currently in his 10th season in that role. As a Church, we have been blessed as folk have come to faith, been baptised and joined us.
The following video was made of Stuart’s work at the club.
Through his involvement nationally with Sports Chaplaincy, other clubs up and down the country have appointed Chaplains – Torquay, Barrow, Braintree and Fleetwood among a number, with other clubs currently in discussion (perhaps there are some reading this who would be interested – there is a sports club right near you, and a ministry right there! Get in touch if you want to know more, or visit www.sportschaplaincy.org.uk).
One of the most successful aspects of our work as a church in recent years is the partnership with one of the other local churches and the City Council in running Community Action Days. We held the inaugural one in 2008, and by last year these had increased to 10 across the city (five in our patch), with Council aspirations to double that in 2015. On our five days, we cleared over 40 tonnes of rubbish and made many positive contacts.
During 2014 we partnered with ‘Hope into Action’ as they opened their second home in Cambridge. There are currently two young men being supported and mentored by folk in the Church.
We are thrilled that in 2012 we were able to purchase the church’s first manse (with the help of the Baptist Union Corporation and other loans). Looking ahead, there is much to do. We are actively praying about a church plant (or two!) and a church re-build. We are trusting God each and every step of the way. Without Home Mission support, none of this would be possible, and we would ask you to continue to pray for us as we seek to reach a lost and broken community with the love of Jesus.
If you’re ever in the area, do come and visit, you’d be most welcome.
Our God is so faithful and has done amazing things at Barnwell – to God be the glory!
Minister, Barnwell Baptist Church
Giving thanks for the partnerships with local churches, ‘Hope into Action’ and the City Council, and for all that they have achieved together
With the church about their vision for a church plant and re-build, that God would make his plans clear
For Stuart’s continuing involvement with Cambridge United Football Club and Sports Chaplaincy
That people in other places will be inspired to support their local sports clubs through sports ministry
Click here for a printable Fact File about Barnwell Baptist Church
to share with your church.
Click here to read more stories about how the money you give to Home Mission is being used to bring the love of God to communities around the country.