Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Wednesday prayers – 21st February, 2024

Jane leads our online prayer time this month focusing on the prayer of Jabez from 1 Chronicles 4 v 10.

Verse of the week

“Above all, Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4 v 8 (NIV)

Think: However diligent a church is doctrinally, the church will die if it does not have love!

Challenge: What would onlookers say if they looked at your church and indeed your life?

The verse of the week is inspired by the teaching the previous Sunday. If you would like to listen to recordings of any message, then head to


Thursday Fellowship’s Spring Programme

Thursday Fellowship will now be taking a winter break.  The new session will commence on 7th March and we will continue to meet in the Parish Room of the Holy Cross Church, Woodingdean at 2pm each Thursday. Please do join us – we can assure you of a warm welcome! 

A taste of next year’s programme: Some familiar faces, some faces we haven’t seen for a while and some new ones!

7th March – Member’s meeting with our motto

14th March- Lorna Sivyour

21st March – Rosemary Kemp (Passover)

28th March – Maundy Thursday (Communion)

4th April – Maeve Whitchurch

11th April – John Casse

18th April – Lynda Hulcoop

25th – Keith & Laurel Barnes

For further information head to the following link:- Thursday Fellowship


DBC’s vision and Purpose

To know God and to make Him known


Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14 v 6


Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Luke 10 v 27

Thursday Fellowship – Ann Dracott

We were pleased to welcome back Ann Dracott to our meeting. Ann always takes something very common and practical and brings a Word from the Lord which is not only a personal testimony but also a challenge for us.

This time Ann brought along a favourite saucepan which she had spoiled by being in her words, careless, complacent and negligent! The pan was so badly burned that it took nearly 4 days to completely clean. Ann didn’t want to throw it out as it was part of a set, was old but well used and so very useful.

Ann likened this to the fact that we do mess up in our lives – we make wrong choices, our attitude may not be good at times, we can use careless words, we can become complacent and neglectful.  We may look fine on the outside , but on the inside, well!

Isn’t it wonderful that God in His mercy and faithfulness does not discard us! Like that old saucepan which was part of a set and useful, we are a part of the Body of Christ.  We are all important, we all matter, we all have different gifts and skills and there is something for each of us to do.

Ann highlighted Ephesians 2 v 8-10, focusing on verse 10 which says, “for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Are you ready to be used by God? Remember, God is faithful and will forgive our mistakes. We were challenged to put ourselves in God’s hands. He forgives and He restores but we were reminded that the process can be painful at times.

Thursday Fellowship – Gillian Clark

Gillian Clark from Books Alive in Hove was our visiting speaker this week.

Once again, Gillian came laden with an array of Christmas cards, wrapping paper, advent calendars and gifts so that we could stock up in preparation for the Christmas season.

Gillian brought a lovely message from Philippians 4 v 10-13 focussing on the second part of verse 12 and verse 13 “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation – I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

That doesn’t mean that we can literally do everything! We need to be aware of God’s call on our lives and the plan He has for us and serve Him wholeheartedly.  We do it all for the Lord out of our love for Him and wanting to please Him in everyway – we don’t need recognition from others! This way we can learn the secret of being content even in the most trying circumstances.

Isn’t it wonderful to know He gives us His strength to accomplish the work He has for each of us!

Gillian then prayed that we would have the discernment to know what God wants us to do and the contentment to follow His way.

Thursday Fellowship – Connie Crowly

On Thursday 9 November we were delighted to welcome Connie Croly, a long-standing friend of Thursday Fellowship.  Connie spoke on the much-loved Psalm 23, and brought fresh insights into this familiar part of the Bible, illustrating her talk with many examples from her own experience.

Psalm 23, as we know, was written by David, the shepherd-king, and his experience of tending his father’s flocks as a boy inspired him to see God as his Shepherd.  Connie reminded us that a good shepherd gives guidance – “He leads me “, protection – “He restores my soul”, healing  -“He anoints my head with oil”, provision – “He prepares a table”.

Jesus is not only our Good Shepherd, He is also the door of the sheep-fold, guarding and protecting us. We can rest safe and secure in his care.

Thursday Fellowship – Malcolm Haines

We welcomed Malcolm our former pastor and a regular visitor to Thursday Fellowship to our meeting.

Malcolm brought a very helpful word around his experiences as a Teaching Assistant at a local Catholic Primary School – with reference to being salt and light and highlighting the passage in Matthew 5 v 13-16.

We thought about what salt does – mainly to preserve things and enhance the flavour of something better.  What if we were like really good salt! What does that mean for us?  How might it help others and bring glory to God? We were encouraged to not live selfishly but to live the Jesus way of serving others.

We also thought about the power of light and how it dispels darkness.  It can, if we allow it to shine in our lives, show a clear path towards friendship with God!

Malcolm has been blessed for the many opportunities he has had to shine for Jesus in his new role and Psalm 39 has spoken to him powerfully. Why not read it and see if God speaks to you too?!

Do we watch our ways?  Do we take time to stop and listen to others? Do we say and do things which are good and build others up? We may fail at times but our hope is in Him. – His grace is sufficient for us.  We can get up and try again because His mercies are new every morning. Let us all strive to serve God to the best of our ability.

Malcolm left us with this challenge – Let’s be salt and light because you never know who is watching!

Thursday Fellowship – Jane Leaver

Readings: Psalm 104 v 1, 10-25, 31-33 and John 15 v 9-17

An in-house afternoon this week with Sue leading and Jane bringing us a talk around the charming book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesey.

This delightful book with beautiful illustrations doesn’t centre around a story but rather a series of one liners focussing on love, friendship and kindness – a world of course that we all wish to be a part of!

Jane felt that on reading the book, she couldn’t help but apply Godly principles to the thoughts expressed and so linked four of the many sayings in the book with scripture to encourage and challenge us in our faith journey.

Looking at:

Kindness – Something our world is desperate for.  Everyone needs a kind word or gesture.  It leads to good in our society and can change lives. We were encouraged to be kind, and smile, not just with our mouths but with our eyes also! Ephesians 4 v 32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another.”

Comparing yourself to others – This is such a big waste of time! God made us, us! We are not a mistake.  We are His perfect design made in His image.  Be thankful, praise Him that we are fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139 v 14.  His works are wonderful!  Do we know that full well? We should!

Thinking about being less afraid – Remember that there are 365 fear nots in the Bible, one for every day of the year. Isaiah 41 v 10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”

Asking for help – So many people want to be in control all of the time or they fear that asking for help is a sign of weakness or can make them appear incompetent or even inferior. Generally you find that people do want to help if they can – they want to make a difference. Where do you go for help?  Who can you turn to? A little talk with Jesus helps and can make things right – Jane testified to that fact. Trust Him!  Seek counsel from someone you trust also.

Charlie Mackesey’s book is all about friendship and Jane finished by linking back to our reading from John 15 v 9-17. The greatest friend we can have is Jesus.  He has called us His friends if we do what He says.  Let’s live the Jesus way and seek Him in all that we do. We finished by singing that lovely old hymn, What a Friend we have in Jesus.

Thursday Fellowship – Graham Dawson

Faith started our meeting by reading a few verses from Hebrews 12 – Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus – let’s consider Him! What a great start to our time together!

We welcomed Graham Dawson for his first visit to us.  Graham’s message was all about Love – that agapé love – the spontaneous feeling which leads to self-giving – a love that longs to give rather than to receive. God expresses His love for us; He is concerned for our welfare and wants the best for us.  He also gives without expecting anything in return. While we were still sinners and sunk in all of our mess, Christ died for us. 1 John 4 v 16 says, “we know and rely on the love God has for us.” Amen!

It is so comforting to know that God is loving towards all He has made (Psalm 145 v 17); that He loves us with an everlasting love, has drawn us with His unfailing kindness and that nothing can separate us from His love – absolutely nothing (Romans 8 v 28)! His love is deep enough to meet all of our needs.

And because He loves each one of us personally,  Graham shared that:

We are able to love God in return.
We must love our brothers and sisters – Jesus commanded it!
We should have a desire to tell others about His love.
We can be secure in whatever is happening in our lives because He will hold us fast.

We were reminded of that old song:

Jesus’s love is very wonderful – Oh wonderful love.
So high you can’t get over it,

So low you can’t get under it,
So wide you can’t get round it,
Oh, wonderful love.

A beautiful message which left us all with a cozy glow.  How wonderful is our God!

Thursday Fellowship – Beverley McArdle (BHCM)

We welcomed Beverley McArdle, Team Leader from the Brighton & Hove City Mission’s Care Homes team to our meeting. Our reading for the afternoon was Psalm 139 v 1-16 (a truly beautiful passage) which Beverley used to highlight her talk with the theme of “Who am I, and who are you?”

Beverley gave us some very interesting insight into the work within care homes in Brighton and Hove. At present the team delivers 28 services per month.  These services may vary from a conventional service to a more simplified approach to accommodate the needs of those present. Everyone loves singing the old hymns and most remember the Lord’s Prayer. So many of the residents have a cognitive impairment but each person is valued and special. The team also spend time chatting, getting alongside, befriending and offering to pray for those who would welcome it.

We thought about what makes us, us! Like our names, our hobbies, our relationships, our individual characters etc. All these elements build us up.  What happens if/when we lose any of these characteristics? Can we perhaps lose ourselves? Even if people lose the ability to remember their own name – God knows it and God knows them!

Beverley challenged us to be the light of Christ for those in darkness particularly those who may have dementia or some form of cognitive impairment. We need to be people who affirm others and help them to see who they are in Jesus because they cannot lose their identity and who they are in God’s eyes.

Beverley and her team help to connect people with their faith and at times Beverley shared that the presence of the Holy Spirit is so evident that it is tangible! God can and does reach each person with His love, His compassion and His mercy. The team tell people that they are dearly loved and that God will never forget them. What a wonderful ministry!

This truly inspiring afternoon ended with Beverley reading Isaiah 46 v 4 from the NLT version – “I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age.  I made you, and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you.”

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