Home Mission news from Wednesbury Baptist Church and Delves Baptist Community Church
Home Mission supports the ministry of Esther Gladwish with these two churches
Covid has taken its toll on their mission and ministry, but the churches are praying about what the future will hold for them, and are excited by the opportunities to work together
I am the Minister for two amazing small Baptist churches who fund my ministry through Home Mission.
Delves Baptist Community Church (DBCC) is in Walsall in the West Midlands. From its grounds we can see the M6 and the edge of Sandwell and Birmingham. Though in a built-up area, there is a real sense of community with a school just across the road and a common next to the church.
Ministry for ‘The Delves’ is really important but I am their first part-time Minister and they have not had to rely on Home Mission before. A few very generous givers have died and Covid has continued to have a detrimental effect on the finances of the church. Even those that can give have small incomes with raising bills so Home Mission is vital for the church to remain open. ‘Community’ is in the title of the church for a reason, as the church has always been in the heart of the community. We run a play and stay group, a youth group and midweek church for those not at work. The building is used for keep fit groups, dance and choir groups too. I began my ministry at The Delves during lockdown and, as we come out of this difficult time, we are on our knees in prayer for the future. What does God want us to do next? Vision? We believe a radical change is needed but we will only be able to discern that through prayer. So right now that is what we are doing - praying.
Wednesbury Baptist Church is a few miles over the border in Sandwell but is DBCC’s Baptist neighbour, though the churches have never had a relationship until I became their minister. I went from DBCC to train in ministry at Wednesbury in 2016. After my training was completed in 2020 they asked me to stay on part-time. My ministry at Wednesbury had been funded through Home Mission as a minister-in-training and continues to be Home Mission funded, though the church is financially getting better. We had seen some growth at Wednesbury and were nearing the end of an Alpha course when Covid hit. The damage from Covid on our community relationships has been hard but we see new growth through our ‘Places of Welcome’ lunch club each week. The church is small but we are excited for the future as we work with other churches in Wednesbury to bring about a new parent and toddlers group, Messy Church and do schools work together.
Both churches have not had much opportunity to work together yet due to Covid, but it is our plan to share resources and do some things together. We have already done two Alpha courses together, as well as some events. The future is positive but would not be possible if it weren’t for Home Mission.
Minister at Wednesbury Baptist Church and Delves Baptist Community 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.