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News

April 2019
News > Education

Ofsted told to keep out of ‘identity politics’

Ofsted should focus on the quality of education and not ‘identity politics’, says The Christian Institute. The group called for the government inspectorate to ditch its obsession with forcing primary school children to learn about same-sex relationships. It comes in the wake of remarks made to the BBC by the head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman. She defended LGBT lessons, saying they were ‘about making sure [children] know just enough to know that some people prefer not to get married to somebody of the opposite sex and that sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies. ‘It’s about making sure that children who...

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News

April 2019
News > Society

Britain’s first ‘transgender hate crime’ trial collapses

Britain’s first transgender hate crime trial has been halted after one day, as the judge says ‘there is no case and never was a case’. Miranda Yardley, 51, was accused of harassing transgender activist Helen Islan on social media. But District Judge John Woollard dismissed the case after a one-day hearing, saying there was simply no evidence. Campaigners called the decision a victory for free speech, while the accused claimed police were being used to ‘enforce a political ideology’. Yardley and Islan exchanged strong opinions on whether a person can change their gender. Islan said she felt ‘stressed and sick’ by Yardley’s Twitter posts, and...

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News

April 2019
News > Society

Police Scotland: ‘Smacking ban will be costly’

Police Scotland has warned members of the Scottish Parliament that a smacking ban could result in increased costs to the force as officers spend more time investigating allegations against parents. The force has also raised concerns that the ban, proposed by Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie, with Scottish government backing, could interfere with family life. The force’s concerns were contained in a document submitted to Holyrood’s Equality and Human Rights Committee which is examining the proposed legislation. The document said: ‘Police Scotland envisages that the repeal of the defence provided by Section 51 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 will result in an...

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News

April 2019
News > Conferences

Wessex Conference 2019

Nearly 150 people were present at Spring Road Church, Southampton on 16 February for the Wessex Conference. Pastor Mark Stocker chaired the conference, opening with some reflections on Psalm 117 concerning God’s faithfulness to his promises and how his greater purposes cannot be thwarted by earthly powers. He also welcomed guest preacher, Pastor Chris Hand from Crich, who introduced his focus for the day: Persecution: its reality and our response. In the first session, ‘Persecution in the west: the new normal’, Chris spoke from 1 Peter 4, particularly verse 12. He explained how there have always been agitators for change in society, some claiming that...

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News

April 2019
News > Church news

Philip Mallon ordained in Westhoughton

On 19 January, a packed congregation gathered to witness the ordination service of Rev. Philip Mallon. He was also installed to the office of Associate Pastor at Westhoughton Evangelical Church, southwest of Bolton. The church there has a long history, stretching all the way back to 1889. Rev. Mallon trained at London Reformed Baptist Seminary. Afterwards, and under the direction and leadership of Westhoughton Evangelical Church, Rev. Mallon continued his training through preaching, teaching Sunday school and evangelistic outreach work. After a period of four years, it was the unanimous call of the church to appoint him as associate pastor. The church’s current pastor, Rev....

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News

April 2019
News > Church news

Reformation Bible Conference 2019

The annual Reformation Bible Conference occurred on 4 and 5 of January at the historic Hill Top Chapel, home of Sheffield Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The speakers were Rev. Richard Phillips, Rev. Andy Young and Rev. Kevin Bidwell. Topics covered included the importance of creeds and confessions, the sovereignty of God, Christ in the book of Ezekiel and Christian dating. It was a joy to see so many people from different UK churches sitting under Reformed, experiential preaching. It was also the first time the conference has benefited from the newly extended Hill Top Chapel – the extra space was much appreciated. The conference first met...

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News

April 2019
News > Church news > Induction

Magherafelt Reformed Baptist Church induction

Magherafelt is a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is largely made up of Roman Catholics but has a significant Protestant community. Some 22 years ago, a Reformed Baptist Church was formed in the town. They now have an attractive building and a committed membership, eager to serve the Lord in their community. Over the years, retaining a pastor has proved difficult and the church has often relied on the oversight of other local churches. Initially, these were Baptist churches in America but more recently Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley (conveniently situated near Gatwick airport) provided assistance. In September 2018, the church were able...

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News

April 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Dr Keith Small (1959-2018)

Dr Keith Small was one of the foremost Quar’an scholars of our time. His work on early manuscripts provoked new questions among secular and Islamic scholars alike. While at Dallas Theological Seminary, Keith read of Henry Martyn, and resolved to give his life to work among Muslims. He married Celeste Gardner in 1985, equally committed to the Muslim world, and they moved to the UK the following year, settling in Dewsbury. The family later moved to London while Keith completed a doctorate. Taking the earliest 21 Qur’anic manuscripts, he applied to them the same tools used for examining biblical manuscripts. His ground-breaking work showed that...

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News

March 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Megan Franklin (1981-2018)

London Christians are groaning mutely at a fearful providence that has humbled us all, particularly the family of Brad and Megan Franklin. Brad is an American pastor of St Giles Christian Mission in north London. He has six young children (all under thirteen years old) and his wife, Megan, was expecting their seventh. Three days after Christmas, Megan sustained a small cut, leading to a Group A Strep infection. Her brain swelled, causing catastrophic damage. Megan underwent a C-section and successfully gave birth to a sixth son, who is doing well. However, Megan did not recover from her infection and tragically passed away on 6th...

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News

March 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Douglas Dawson (1922-2019)

On 17 January, Douglas Dawson passed into glory. He had pastored several churches, including fellowships in Stretham, Borough Green and Leyton. Grace Baptist churches underwent much change during Douglas’ life. Along with Clifford Pond, Jack Hoad, John Appleby and Frank Ellis, Douglas played a pivotal role. Clifford, Jack and Douglas were leaders in the Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches at a critical time in the 1960s and 1970s. This coincided with a further liberalising of the Baptist Union. Many young preachers were unwilling to pursue ministry within the BU. Where could they turn? Strict Baptist churches offered help as Clifford and Douglas interviewed and...

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News

March 2019
News > Church news

Roland Burrows retirement

On 8th December 2018, a service was held at Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Old Hill, West Midlands to give thanks for the pastoral ministry of Mr G Roland Burrows. Several hundred people gathered from local churches as well as further afield. Mr Stephen Ford chaired proceedings. He explained how his friendship with Mr Burrows developed during their involvement with the Christian Worship Hymnbook Committee. Mr Alun McNabb preached for the occasion. Under his ministry at Dudley Baptist Chapel, Mr Burrows was converted, married and called to the ministry. He spoke profitably from 1 Corinthians 4:2, ‘Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be...

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News

March 2019
News > Conferences

Carey Conference 2019

Some would consider early January an inopportune time for a conference, but for many years good numbers of attendees have arrived at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanick for 48 hours of teaching and fellowship. This year, the main subject was the Trinity. It was good to have Dr Robert Letham with us again to faithfully guide us over this terrain. His three sessions on the topic were supplemented by other papers from Jonathan Worsley (worship), David Campbell (holiness), Robert Strivens (Synod of Dort), Henry Dixon (prayer in the Spirit) and Jonathan Bayes (zeal for God’s glory). Most of the hundred or so men present...

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