Presidency for Chichester minister
The Revd Ken Benjamin, minister of Chichester Baptist Church in Sussex, has been elected President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain 2019-2020
Ken was one of two candidates nominated for the presidency, alongside the Revd Linda Turner, minister of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Norfolk. Voting closed on 31 March, and both candidates were informed when the results were calculated last week.
Ken will now serve as Vice President 2018-19, before assuming the presidency at next year’s Baptist Assembly.
'I am truly grateful to be given the privilege, opportunity and challenge of serving the Baptist family, firstly as Vice-President and then President,’ he said.
‘As well as the personal challenge for me, for which I seek your prayers, I am convinced there will be new challenges ahead for all of us.
‘The times that we live in require individuals and churches to think beyond existing patterns, programmes and even buildings in imaginative and creative ways.'
Ken describes himself as mixed race (his father was Sri Lankan and mum English) and grew up in South London. He has served as a minister at Chichester for 21 years. Prior to church ministry he was a retail manager and trainer for a department store in Oxford Street, and a lecturer, teaching business studies and management skills.
In his presidency profile he said he would particularly promote an emphasis on whole life discipleship and missional communities, if elected.
Regarding the former, Ken is an associate speaker for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, whose message is that all Christians should go into their everyday ‘Frontline’ world confident that God can work through them. ‘This fits really well in a Baptist context with our emphasis on the priesthood of all believers,’ Ken said.
Chichester Baptist Church has run various monthly, ‘alternative gatherings’ for six years in a variety of contexts and locations. It means that on a typical Sunday many members are out and about doing church in the community, and are not in the building.
Ken said, ‘A growing number of Baptist churches are exploring and trying similar ways of reaching out. There is the potential within the role of President to develop ways to share ideas and seek to encourage any churches who are looking to explore new and additional ways of gathering.’
Our current President is the Revd Dianne Tidball, whose ‘As In Heaven,’ theme is taken from the Lord’s Prayer. Click here for Dianne’s reflections on her theme.
The Revd Dr Dave Gregory, senior minister at Croxley Green Baptist Church, will succeed Dianne at this year’s Baptist Assembly on 12 May in Peterborough. He begins to unpack his theme Divine Windows: Glimpses of God in life, the universe… and everything in the summer 2018 edition of Baptists Together magazine.
The President’s main role is as a communicator/facilitator of our Union’s vision and mission. The President travels around our Union, engaging with local churches, regional Associations and Colleges.
A key part of the role is leading the Baptist Steering Group (BSG) Accompanying Group, which provides prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection with BSG.