'Ministering here in Rugby has been very special'
Rugby Baptist Church is preparing to say farewell to the Revd Dr Michael Bochenski, who has served as its minister for nine years
During his time in Rugby the church has seen dozens of new members join and a multi-cultural congregation grow - with new people joining the church including West Indian, African and Chinese worshippers.
'It has been a joy to welcome so many new people into membership here and to see others joining us as adherents – regular worshippers – during my time here,' said Dr Bochenski, a former President of our Baptist Union. 'It has been especially great to link up with Christians from all over the world and to learn so much from them too.'
During his time in Rugby Dr Bochenski has also spearheaded interchurch community action and involvement in a number of ways. For nine years he led the town’s homeless charity Hope 4 Rugby, and for seven its interchurch network Rugby Revive. Among the new projects he helped to launch and develop in the borough have been: the Winter Night Shelter, the new Hope Centre on Newbold Road, the Rugby Foodbank, the Rugby Street Pastors, and the Gift of Years project (supporting local care and residential homes). He also encouraged the town’s many churches to get involved in a wide range of community outreach programmes including the Rugby World ‘Fanzone’, Hope Rugby and a Love Rugby mission.
'I have been a minister for some 40 years in many different places,' said Dr Bochenski, 'but ministering here in Rugby has been very special. A number of us have worked very hard at building co-operation between churches and their leaders and the local communities we serve. The outcome of this has been a range of ministries and community projects focussing especially on the needs of some of Rugby’s neediest and most vulnerable citizens. For me that is always near the heart of authentic Christianity.'
Michael's farewill takes place over the weekend of 14-15 July.
On Saturday 14 July in Rugby Baptist Church, Dr Bochenski and his wife Jane will look back at over 40 years of Christian ministry in the presence of family and friends. The preacher will be the Revd Jonathan Edwards, the former General Secretary of the Baptist Union. Dr Bochenski’s final service as minister of Rugby Baptist Church will be on Sunday 15 July at 10.30.
Looking back at Michael Bochenski’s time in Rugby, church secretary Emma Tiller said, 'Michael has been at the heart of our church life for nearly ten years. He’s made a huge difference to the town as well as the church, and we’ll miss him very much.'