Aylesham Baptist Church
Minister Laura Moncaster is leading the church and setting an example of the need to be real, honest and vulnerable
A church providing friendship, support and opportunities for people to take part in activities that promote positive mental health
Reaching out to the community and building relationships with people moving into the new housing area
A church grateful for Home Mission funding, the support of other Baptist churches and partnerships with groups such as Youth With A Mission (YWAM)
I have been at Aylesham four years now. It’s exciting to look back and see all the things God has done, but also to look forward to all that God is doing and will do here in Aylesham. These reports are often (and rightly so) meant to present all the ‘good’ things that have been happening, but I wanted to be real as, in all honestly, the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 were hard for me personally. I suffered with a time of depression but
(as a side note don’t you love the buts and therefores in the Bible!) God was and is so faithful. One Sunday during communion I broke down and could not continue but someone came alongside me and took over leading communion, I then in God’s strength was able to continue with the service. Was I embarrassed that I broke down? YES! Do I plan on breaking down in tears every service? NO! Has God brought good out of it? YES! I believe me showing my vulnerability and weakness has; 1) given others in the church permission to be vulnerable and honest and 2) shown that in our weakness God is strong! Why am I writing this in this report? Firstly because I believe mental health should be spoken about and secondly because I genuinely believe that ministers have to be real, honest and, yes, vulnerable. Now this doesn't mean preaching from our wounds that is not helpful but I do believe it can be helpful to preach from our scars and that is something by the grace of God I have been able to do.
Although things have at times been hard, we have had lots of good times and have of course seen God at work in Aylesham. At Christmas we had our carol concert with the colliery brass playing. The church was full and I was able to preach a gospel message, so we pray that seeds were sown and will grow! In January we had a joint service with some people from West Wickham and Shirley Baptist Church (WWSBC - the church I grew up in). We were SO blessed that people travelled in total three hours for two hours in Aylesham. People from WWSBC led worship and we praised God and prayed for each other. It was a great evening and a real blessing to us.
God continues to encourage and bless us through others, this time through Youth with a Mission (YWAM). On the Easter weekend we had a team of seven young people come and work with us. On the Saturday we had a prayer time and then went into the community to give out free Easter Eggs, chat and pray with people. We gave out hundreds of eggs and had some great conversations.
On Easter Sunday we had a fantastic service, the church full and I was able to give a clear gospel message, the YWAM team did an inspiring drama and people did their cardboard testimonies of how Jesus had transformed their lives. Again we are pray that many seeds were sown.
In June we started Aylesham Mental Fight Club which is a group that seeks to provide friendship and support while giving opportunities for people to take part in activities that promote positive mental health. It is beginning to really develop and we are praying that more people will get involved.
We continue to deliver welcome gifts to the new houses and have visited 200 homes! We are beginning to see fruit with a young couple and retired lady joining the church after receiving gifts. We will be delivering more gifts soon as a new load of people have recently moved in!
As you can see God has been so gracious to us and we are excited to see what is next!
Praise God for…
Churches that stand with us and support us; West Wickham and Shirley Baptist Church, Horley Baptist Church and Canterbury Baptist Church.
The new people joining the church.
New windows and heating in the church.
Ask God for…
An increased outpouring of his love and power
More workers for the harvest
The interaction between the people moving into the new houses and the current Aylesham community, that there will not be an ‘us and them' divide
Things coming up…
The church Christmas pantomime
The continuation of our toddler group, mental health group, youth group and Messy Church run jointly with the Anglican Church in the village.
A massive thank you… to SEBA churches and Baptist Home Mission for your support of Aylesham Baptist Church.
Minister of Aylesham Baptist Church
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