Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Verse of the week

“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”

Romans 5 v 8 (NIV)

Think: The observant of you will notice that we have had this verse fairly recently! Have you got the message? We love because He first loved us. How wonderful that God made the first move towards us! It is so important to know this love, that passes all understanding.  His mercies are new every morning. Our prayer is that you would experience this love and pass it on! Let us love, love, love!

The verse of the week is inspired by the teaching the previous Sunday.  If you would like to listen to a recording of the service then head to:-

Thursday Fellowship – 12th May – “Greater Heights”

We welcomed Dr Ruth Butlin from the Leprosy Mission and what an interesting and informative afternoon we had!

Leprosy is a highly contagious bacterial disease with 200,000 new cases every year that causes nerve damage, discolouration and lumps on the skin, and in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities. At present, multi drug therapy is the only cure and finding and curing people quickly is vital to preventing disability. 

Dr Ruth told us about the Leprosy Mission’s work high up on a hill at Anandaban in Nepal overlooking Kathmandu.  In a crumbling lab in danger of being closed down due to the damage sustained in the 2015 earthquakes, the team are making scientific breakthroughs that will, God willing, eventually see leprosy eradicated for good.

In the meantime, the research team desperately needs to develop an early diagnostic test so they can cure people as quickly as possible. To do this, they need to build a new world-class research centre in place of the old building and Dr Ruth and others like her are spreading the word and seeking support to create a place where medical miracles can happen.

Dr Ruth linked her talk with Psalm 18 v 16-33 and entitled her message, “The Lord who breaks through barriers!” It is God who arms us with strength.  With Him we can scale high and difficult terrain.  We need to fully rely on Him for deer-like sure-footedness, especially when the going looks difficult. Look to the Lord – He can make a way and can supply what is needed.  He can enable us to reach even greater heights!

Our offering together with a donation from the committee enabled us to bless Dr Ruth with a gift of £300 towards the rebuilding of the Anandaban Research Centre.

Please pray that God will grant wisdom and knowledge to researchers as they develop early diagnostic tests and that the Lord will guide the team as they work to find a cure.

Thursday Fellowship is back!

We welcomed the return of Thursday Fellowship on 3rd March for the spring session.

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! 

Speakers lined up from Easter to June:

14th April – Maundy Thursday Service
21st April – Rev Malcolm Haines
28th April – Keith & Laurel Barnes
5th May – Phil Cook
12th May – Dr Ruth Butlin (Leprosy Mission)
19th May – Rev Malcolm Haines
26th May – Sue Cunningham and friends
2nd June – Queen’s Jubilee tea party
9th June – Linn Davies
16th June – Sussex Day celebration
23rd June – Wynn Funnell
30th June – Anniversary – Rev Malcolm Haines

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


Thursday Fellowship – 5th May

The Rev Philip Cook was our speaker today. The reading was Ephesians 3:14-21 and he spoke on how three well-known hymns came to be written.

‘What a friend we have in Jesus’  – Grace and love in bereavement. Proverbs 18:24(AV) says ‘There’s a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ The writer Joseph Scriven had two personal tragedies. When in Northern Ireland, he saw his fiancée drown after being thrown from her horse, and then in Canada his then fiancée died too. The hymn, written to reassure his mother that he was OK, wasn’t found for 27 years.

‘O love that wilt not let me go’ – Grace is love in heartbreak. George Matheson’s fiancée broke off their engagement because he was blind. In his mental distress he wrote this hymn with God’s guidance.

‘Now thank we all our God’ – Grace and love of God in terror. In the 30 Years’ War in the 17th century, in Eilenberg, Pastor Rinkhart buried forty to fifty people daily. He wrote this hymn in the horror and destruction of war.

‘When we pass through testing’ – Grace and love of God in pain. Philip himself wrote this hymn in 2001 when in severe back and leg pain. He based it on Job 23:10, 13:15 and 19:25. We sang it with him.

These hymns will mean so much more now!

Thank you Sue for this lovely precis.

Thursday Fellowship – 28th April

We welcomed back Keith and Laurel Barnes after an absence of nearly four years.

Laurel read from Psalm 103 v 1-18 and Keith entitled the first part of his message “Our faithful Redeemer”. Keith drew on memories of being a teenager in the 1950s and how Jesus found him and made him His own. One of Keith’s favourite passages of scripture is Psalm 139 and his powerful testimony of how God changed him completely and how he grew in natural devotion, drawing closer to God and having his strength renewed like the eagles was so inspiring.  God longs for a deep relationship with us.  He pursues us and is ready to receive us and restore us if we mess up.

We then sang, ‘God forgave my sin’ and ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds’ which reminds us in the last verse that when we see God as He is, we’ll praise Him as we ought! Food for thought indeed!

Keith then told us a remarkable true story within his family unit. The other Grandad to his own grandchildren is a direct relation to a man called Charlie, a Welsh coalminer who was miraculously saved in the Welsh Revival of 1904. Charlie a man who lived his life under the influence of alcohol, sometimes neglecting to provide for his family, was passing by a Baptist Church when he paused to hear the Gospel being preached. He fell on his knees overcome by the state of his own wretchedness. On going home, he told his wife he wouldn’t drink anymore alcohol and he didn’t.  His life was transformed. He eventually became a Deacon at his local church and lived a life of devotion and service. The impact on his family was amazing and all of them would eventually dedicate their lives to God – all ten children!  And not only that, this example of faith and devotion has come down the generations so that even today so many within the family have a powerful faith in God. Isn’t it amazing what God can do?

We were reminded to never give up hope. Let’s continue to pray for our children and grandchildren and all those who have rebelled and fallen away from the truth.

Keith concluded his talk with the hymn, ‘In heavenly love abiding.’ My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free; my Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.

If you would like to join us and are free on a Thursday afternoon at 2pm, pop along to the Parish Room of the Holy Cross for an hour of fellowship.

House Groups

Did you know that there are currently two day-time house groups running on Wednesday mornings? These small, friendly meetings offer the opportunity for informal study, prayer and fellowship.  If you think you might be interested in joining in such a group, please speak to Maria or Sue C.

Bike Pilgrimage

The Rev Robert de Berry and a team of cyclists are undertaking a 900 mile “bike pilgrimage” during June, visiting churches en route for prayer, and in support of Release International and CSW – Christian Solidarity Worldwide (organisations which support persecuted Christians). The team will be visiting us on 19 June to share about the work of these missions and encourage our prayers. 

Thursday Fellowship – 21st April, 2022

The emphasis of our Thursday Fellowship meeting today was the Risen Christ, celebrated with songs, poems and a monologue.

It was good to welcome Malcolm back as he continued his series on Bible books with Numbers. He stressed the importance of administration after half a million Israelites fled Egypt. The plan was to be in the Promised Land within 3 months, but the people were grumbling and disobedient after a few days! In the end, despite God being compassionate, gracious and slow to anger, their faithlessness had to be punished. But he never gave up on them and they finally entered the Promised Land after 40 years of desert wandering ! If they’d trusted God, they would have been there in 3 months! They’d wasted 40 years because of their repeated lack of trust and disobedience. Malcolm encouraged us to be faithful to God and not to waste time through lack of trust and disobedience in OUR generation.

Thank you Sue for this lovely report.

Why a cross?

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1 v 18 NIV

Good Friday Service

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3 v 23-24 (NIV).

Our Good Friday service was not recorded but to give you a flavour of the lovely occasion we have included here some of the readings and thoughts which you might like to meditate on.

To lead us into communion:

Exodus 12 v 1-13
Matthew 26 v 62-68
Mark 15 v 21-24
Luke 23 v 38-43
John 19 v 25-30


Meekness and Majesty
There is a green hill
He was pierced for our transgressions

Broken for me, broken for you, the body of Jesus broken for you.
He offered His body, He poured out His soul; Jesus was broken, that we might be whole. Words by Janet Lunt © 1978 Sovereign Music Ltd

How wonderful that the blood of Jesus makes us clean and new!  Give thanks.

Psalm 100 v 5 – “For the lord is good and His love endures for ever…”

After sharing breakfast together, members of the congregation brought some memories and thoughts of what Easter meant to them:

Sue shared how in her 20s when attending church with her family she suddenly realised what “It is finished”, the words uttered by Jesus on the cross meant and gave her life to Jesus as a result.

Jane brought two thoughts that had impacted her over recent years :

  • The fact that Jesus endured separation from God, His Father.  Darkness covered the whole earth and God could not look at His dear Son because all of our iniquity was on Him.
  • The dying thief found salvation, forgiveness, peace and life right at the last moment.  It brings hope and comfort to so many that Jesus is willing and able to reach out even at the time of death.

Wendy read a beautiful poem about forgiveness contrasting the lives of Judas and Peter and how they reacted to turning their backs on Jesus. For Judas, death ensued, for Peter, hope conquering despair and allowing life to begin again.

Maria brought six thoughts from John 12 v 20-36 – the sayings of Jesus, which they had looked at in the Lent study groups. Please contact Maria should you be interested in knowing more about this.

Margaret was amazed how the Old Testament links in with the New Testament with reference to thorns representing sin! See Genesis 3 v 17-18.

John remembered a poem. What do we think about on March 25th? At Christmas we do think about Easter and vice versa because Jesus came to die for the sins of the world. Does the Easter story impact us on March 25th? Does it mean so much? The same could be said for any time of the year!

Our time together concluded with the singing of, When I survey the wondrous cross.

May you all experience His love, peace and joy at this most special time of the year. Happy Easter!

Thursday Fellowship – Maundy Thursday Service

Due to Covid we have missed the last two Maundy Thursday services so what a delight and blessing it was for us to meet this year.

You might like to see the order of service and follow through the readings and songs that were chosen.

Sue led us in a very beautiful act of communion and said “what a privilege we have this side of the cross!” We fully understand why Jesus had to suffer and the enormity of it all but the disciples at the last supper did not! Jesus is the perfect sacrifice.

Your body was broken; Your blood was shed for us! Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Faith closed with some verses from Isaiah 44. I made you and will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you.

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