350 years of history …

… from Richard Baxter in 1660 to 21st November 2010. We visited Baxter United Reformed Church in Kidderminster this weekend to celebrate 350 years of Christian witness in that place and additionally 125 years of worship in the current building (the fourth on that site).

On Saturday evening we joined members of the congregation for a Barn Dance which was a good social occasion and an opportunity both to join in the dancing and chat informally to those present.

On Sunday morning I led worship.

Richard Baxter was of course, one of the significant names of the 17th century, hymn writer, dissenter and pastor. During the service we thought about not just the high-profile and remembered names but those whose names are not remembered anywhere in the historical records but who have contributed to the life of the church and the witness to God’s love and care amongst his people down the years. What a lot has changed since 1660 but our God remains the same and our need to find relevant ways to serve him in the contemporary world is as vital today as it was then – this group of Christians based in a town centre, occupying a set of buildings which bring their own challenges continue to listen for God’s call to them as they begin the next 350 years of service.

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