It was with mixed emotions that the staff of the Specialist Teams said farewell to Stephen Keyworth on Thursday (23 July). Stephen has served as Faith & Society Team Leader for the past eight years and has been key in establishing this new team following the Futures review of 2012 and then developing our communications and website, the Baptist Assembly and strengthening our engagement with justice issues in particular.
In the Spring of last year, Stephen sensed God’s leading to move on from this role and responded to a call to serve the West Craven fellowship who are part of the Yorkshire Baptist Association. However, almost simultaneously, Stephen suffered a stroke in March 2019. The outpouring of love, prayer and support that this followed this was so precious and was an amazing expression of Baptists Together at its best – thank you, you will never know how much that meant at the time and I know that Stephen, Liz and the family have been deeply appreciative of all the love and prayers that have upheld them on this demanding journey.
Miraculously, after five months in hospital, many months of rehabilitation, and a sabbatical, we are all overjoyed and delighted that Stephen has been able to move north to take up a call to serve as the Minster & Team Leader of the West Craven fellowship, which is the coming together of the Barnoldswick, Earby, and Salteforth churches.
Consequently, Stephen’s service as Faith & Society Team Leader comes to an end on 31 July. I know I speak for all of us when I say that Stephen has been a wonderful colleague; who he is and all that he has contributed will be much missed. Yet we are looking forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to be at work in and through him in this new season and we know that the church, the community and the Yorkshire Baptist Association are going to be blessed through Stephen’s ongoing ministry. Please join me in praying blessing over Stephen, Liz and the church in all that lies ahead.