Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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10 ways to pray for schools

Interested in praying for your local school? Unsure of where to start?

Check out the resource below – Pray For Schools


An initiative of CARE in England and Wales, in partnership with:

Youth for Christ
Free Churches Group
Prayer Spaces In Schools
Scripture Union
Association of Christian Teachers
Open the Book

100 Year Anniversary Celebration

At 7pm on Thursday 23rd March 2023, seven of us met in the building that was the first  real ‘home’ of what was named 100 years previously, Downs Free Church. The purpose was to mark the centenary of our church in Woodingdean, in the place where it all began – at least for Downs Church.

The weather forecast had predicted torrential rain and strong winds and this had kept many of our church family away. However the poignancy of the occasion was, I think, shared by the few of us present.

To set the scene, the building is now utilised as a garage which will indicate to you the space and surroundings in which we found ourselves. Chris Yeatman, the present owner, had very kindly strategically placed heaters to warm us as we sat around on garden furniture. We began our time as you can imagine, by drinking tea and coffee, eating cake and chatting about our surroundings. Chris spoke of what he knew of the family members who started the Church.

It was for the occasion. That is until we started to pray. At this point it felt as if our numbers had swelled! And when we began singing “There is a Redeemer,” It felt as though the building itself was singing with us!

What I want to say and I so hope that you, dear reader understand, is that Jesus was there and the Holy Spirit wrapped us in His embrace. I never want to forget that ‘feeling’ of rightness, of continuity, of the Power of God! I pray that He, as our power source, will carry this wonderful church family on with His strength through the next one hundred years and into eternity with Him.   

Report by Margaret Bradford

Original photos of Downs Free Church by Chris Yeatman – with kind permission.

Thursday Fellowship Spring Lunch – 20th April

A good number gathered for our Spring Lunch.  Lis spoiled us with homemade quiches and we enjoyed salad, new potatoes and coleslaw washed down with Schloer! A selection of desserts with ice cream and the customary After Eight mints followed. There were good conversations at the tables during our meal and then our dear friend Linn Davies sang some of her favourite worship songs with a short explanation as to why she had chosen each song.

There is a redeemer: Life can be complicated and there are many big questions but it is good to get back to simple truths.

The Lord’s my Shepherd – I will trust in You: As a blind person, Linn has to trust what people tell her so this song is special.

Great is the darkness: The world can seem horrible and depressing but we are not alone! Come, Lord Jesus – pour out Your Spirit.

Lord, I lift Your name on high: After the “sadness and lies” of the last song, this one is so cheerful!

Jesus, Jesus, Holy and Anointed One: This is such a pure and simple song – very reflective.

Jesus loves me this I know: Sung acapella In the style of Whitney Houston and Destiny’s Child! And very lovely it was too!

We closed our afternoon with the vesper – May the Lord bless you and keep you – singing it to each other.

Thanks go to our very hardworking Committee for making the afternoon so special and to Linn who blessed us with her lovely voice.

Wednesday Prayers – 19th April, 2023

Gareth leads our prayer time this month and will be referring to Zechariah 7 & 8.

Thursday Fellowship – Keith Barnes

We welcomed back Keith & Laurel Barnes on the 13th April.

Keith told us about his attempts to trace back his family tree on the Barnes side and eventually went back as far as the 1600s. Although he found out the names of his ancestors, he didn’t know anything about them.  Keith contrasted that with what David says in Psalm 139 v 16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” God knew what we were going to be like before we were!  How amazing is that!

David, in Psalm 139 considered just how great God is and he had a real understanding of where he stood. He knew that God was with him and for him and that his security was in Him and so should ours be!

Keith then referred to Psalm 121.  Our help doesn’t come from the hills but from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The Lord watches over us and our future hope and security is in Him.

Keith chose some songs for us this week and Faith used them all – and what a blessing they were too!

    • Fill thou my life, O Lord my God, in every part with praise, that my whole being may proclaim Thy being and Thy ways.
    • Have thine own way Lord.
    • Jesus, You are changing me.
    • All I once held dear – Knowing You Jesus, knowing You, there is no greater thing.

Good Friday Communion Service

Gareth led our time together and read from Matthew 26 v 36-46. Verse 38/39 says, Then He, (Jesus), said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Gareth reminded us that this is not a solemn day! Even though Jesus was dreading what was to come, Good Friday is a celebration of how much Jesus loved each one of us!

There were opportunities for people to bring songs, readings and prayers and the Holy Spirit’s presence was very much in evidence. One person remarked at the end that it was like we’d had a rehearsal! God is so good and gracious!

Below is a flavour of our time of remembrance, reflection and celebration:


When I survey the wondrous cross

My Lord, what love is this. 

Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice 

Thank you Jesus

John brought to us John 18 v 4: “Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to Him” and broke it down in a very powerful way to emphasise the sheer enormity of what Jesus was about to face:

Jesus, KNOWING all that was going to happen to Him

Jesus, knowing ALL that was going to happen to Him

Jesus, knowing all that was going to HAPPEN to Him

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to HIM

Despite all of this, Jesus went forward to die for us. “It is finished” was His cry and we are the recipients of the blessings of forgiveness, right standing with God and the gift of eternal life.

Gareth read Matthew 26 v 26 – 30 and we shared in communion.

It was a lovely occasion and we were able to fellowship together with bacon sandwiches, hot cross buns fruit and tea/coffee of course.

May you be blessed this Easter time as you reflect and revel in the love God has for you.

Thursday Fellowship – Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday commemorates the washing of the disciples feet and the Last Supper. The term “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word “mandatum,” which means “command,” referring to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13 v 34 (NIV). We are also reminded that at the Last Supper, when Jesus broke bread and took the cup, He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

So, 15 of us gathered once again to do just that. And what a moving service it was with beautiful songs, readings, and poems:

Reading: Philippians 2 v 5-11- Faith

Song: Jesus is Lord

Prayer: Maria

Poem: Servant Song – John

Reading: Isaiah 53 v 1-6 – Sheila

Song: How deep the Father’s Love for us

Reading: Isaiah 53 v 7-12 – June

Song: From Heaven You came

Poem: For me – Jane

Song: When I survey the wondrous cross

Poem: The Sacrifice – Faith

Communion: Sue

Song: In Christ alone

Poem: A little while with Jesus – Faith


Some very dear friends were missing as a result of illness and we mentioned them by name and prayed for healing and strength. Others were sadly unable to be with us.

Next week, we are looking forward to a visit from Keith and Laurel Barnes.  In the meantime, Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday Fellowship’s Spring/Summer Programme

Thursday Fellowship returned on 2nd March for the spring session.

We 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 April:

6th April – Maundy Thursday 

13th April – Keith & Laurel Barnes

20th April – Spring Lunch with Linn Davies

27th April – Sue Cunningham

4th May – Birthday Tea at Faith’s

11th May – Connie Croly

18th May – Phil Cook

25th May – Jane Leaver

1st June – Rosemary Kemp

8th June – John Cassé

15th June – Favourite songs, hymns, readings and poems

22nd June – TBA

29th June – Anniversary Cream Tea

Autumn session will commence on 7th September 2023

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 welcomed back Ann Dracott to our meeting on the 23rd March. Ann brought along some of her favourite jigsaws and engaged us all by asking us what was interesting about them! Many replies were given – here are a few: challenging; frustrating; patience needed; they come in all shapes and sizes; you have a picture to follow; good for the brain; you wonder if you’ll have all the pieces; you need good attention to detail; you don’t have to do it all at once or even on your own; satisfying when you finish it!

Ann then moved seamlessly onto the church as a body as recorded in 1 Corinthians 12 v 12 onwards. We discovered that there are many similarities with doing jigsaws namely, the body of Christ is made up of all different pieces, shapes and sizes but all are important and make up the big picture.  It is important for each member of the body to know how they fit into the whole, as a fully functioning, healthy body is honouring to God and essential to us serving the community in which we are placed.

Ann reminded us that you need at least two pieces for a puzzle – you can’t do it all on your own – we need each other!  God has set the framework and the boundaries and we need to find our unique place. What a challenge this is!  Let’s make sure that we are not the missing piece and that we take our place and play our part in building up the church!

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