Ministers’ Conference 2020
Theme: The Grammar of Holiness and the Art of Hospitality
We’re looking forward to welcoming church leaders, chaplains and pioneers from across the SWBA to our annual conference which will take place in Newquay at the beautiful Esplanade Hotel (see photos below) on Mon 3rd to Wed 5th February 2020.
The theme for this year’s Conference is, ‘The Grammar of Holiness and the Art of Hospitality’. What it’s about? Our conference speakers will help us engage with Scripture and reflect on our contemporary context to challenge us to explore the hugely important question of how we ‘welcome the stranger’ in to our communities. They have chosen to add this subtitle to further expound the theme; “Rahab, Ruth, Canaanite and Cornelius, a biblical and contemporary conversation about strangers at the door of the Christian community.”
This year we’re delighted to welcome Revd Mark and Revd Claire Ord as our Conference leaders.
After studying at Spurgeon’s College Claire and Mark went with BMS World Mission to Italy. Following language study they were sent to Liguria where they worked for fifteen years as church planters and pastors. Claire first worked with a Migrant Worker church plant, made up almost entirely of Filipino women and Mark became the pastor of two Baptist churches in Genoa. He went on to plant a Spanish speaking congregation along with a small group of Peruvians. Eventually Claire and Mark worked as Co-pastors as they transitioned these different congregations into a multi-cultural church with around twenty-five nationalities represented. On returning to the UK they jointly ministered at Burton Latimer Baptist Church and were appointed as co-directors for BMS, with oversight of mission training. Claire now works as a hospital chaplain and Mark continues as a director with BMS.
They have three children, Beth, Naomi and Lewis and Claire’s hobbies include swimming, crime novels and watching boxsets. Mark is doing a PhD, so hasn’t got any hobbies. They both enjoy cooking, spending time with the family and following the tortured route of UK politics!
Ministers’ Conference 2019 Report
In February 2019, Ministers, spouses and children from the SWBA gathered to enjoy each other’s company, relax by sea on the beautiful Cornish coast, and for worship and teaching led by our conference speaker, Rev Geoff Colmer. Geoff is Regional Minister Team Leader for the Central Baptist Association and one of the founder members of the Order for Baptist Ministry.
In 2019 the conference took the form of a retreat with Geoff leading us in reconnecting personally with God and seeking nourishment for the soul. There was intentionally less spoken input from up front and more time given over to allowing God to do some work in us, using guided questions and conversation starters. We were also grateful to Steve Sanderson, BMS Deputy Director for Mission for being with us through the conference and helping us consider how we can work with and learn from overseas missionaries coming to the U.K., Richard Matcham, Minister of Barton Baptist Church, who led our Communion service (and preached from Luke 4 and the 1967 version of ‘The Jungle Book’ film!) and Barbara Carpenter, Chaplain at Lee Abbey, who led our community prayers during the final session.
The food was great, the views were outstanding and spending time together with God and with others from the SWBA family was very, very good for the soul… we were well blessed!
Take a look below at a few photos from our time away…