Services at Highams Park Baptist Church are suspended for the duration of the current lockdown.
To contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click here to receive email updates from Highams Park Baptist Church Follow @HPBCtoday Follow us on Twitter
We are a friendly and welcoming Baptist Church in Highams Park, NE London. Our Sunday Morning services start at 10am, last about an hour and are usually led by our Minister, Rosemary Eaton. Our Church Life comprises many events such as Prayer Meetings, Cell Groups and Men's/Women's meetings. We also have a BBGA group.
Our Church Magazine contains various articles about the Church and Highams Park in general. The Calendar contains details of upcoming events some of which can also be found in Church Notices. Please consider joining our mailing list to receive email updates from us about our work. To contact us please use the details on the Contact Us page, particually for Hall Hire enquiries.
Highams Park Baptist Church
Thoughts and Views from Highams Park Baptist Church, London, E4
Samuel was just a boy when he first heard God calling. He needed help to understand what was happening when he began hearing a voice in the night. It seems that at that particular point in history ‘the word of the Lord was rare and there were not many visions’. It took a little time for Eli the Priest to realise that the voice Samuel heard might be the voice of God. With Eli’s help, Samuel answered the call and grew up to be one of Israel’s greatest prophets.
Philip recognised something special in the man who extended the simple invitation to follow him. He went to find his friend Nathanael to share the news. Nathanael was sceptical when Philip told him that he had found the prophet written about by Moses. He needed a little convincing that the man Philip had met was really the special one sent by God. When Jesus spoke to him directly Nathanael was left in no doubt. He responded to the call of Jesus and went on to become part of the group of twelve disciples who would eventually lead the early church.
Down the centuries, people have continued to hear the voice of God calling them. It begins with a response to the simple call of Jesus to ‘follow me’. Later, as faith develops, the call becomes more specific. Each of us is called by name to journey with Jesus as we discover our personal calling as a follower of Christ. Some of us, like Samuel, need a little help to understand what is going on when God speaks. Others, like Nathanael, need some convincing that the call is really from God. At every stage of the life of faith, we might need a little guidance before we feel able to respond.
For almost a year, Christians across the world have been unable to gather in person. Interaction with fellow believers has been restricted and limited. Apart from the occasional conversation in the street, the park, or on the doorstep, there has been little chance of normal conversation. Video calls, letters, emails, and phone calls have kept us in touch. The wonders of modern technology have provided ways of worshipping and of growing in our faith. We have done our best to support each other but most miss the ‘human touch’ that guided Samuel and Nathanael when they heard God calling.
In these unusual times, despite the closure of churches and the suspension of normal church life, the voice of God has not been silent. In the coming months we hope for a slow return to once again gathering as the church of Christ. As we prepare to do so, time must be found, somehow, to try to understand and respond to the renewed call of God on our lives both as individual believers and as the gathered church of Christ
‘I can resist anything except temptation’, said the fictious Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde’s play ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’. Most of us would probably agree. By their very nature, the things that tempt us are the very things that we find it hardest to turn away from. Much has been said this year about the tendency of many of us to over-indulge in food or drink during lockdown. Our ability to resist temptation is seriously reduced when we are anxious, angry, bored, lonely, stressed or just plain tired. The greatest temptation of all is perhaps the temptation to simply give up trying to resist those things we know to be bad for us.
On this first Sunday in Lent the Christian church focusses on the experience of Jesus in the wilderness. This is where the journey that will end in Jerusalem begins. From the earliest days of the church the time spent by Jesus alone in the wilderness has been understood as a significant moment. There is a sense that, although the realities of what actually happened cannot be known for certain, this event was a turning point in the life of Jesus. A moment of decision and commitment from which there could be no turning back.
Jesus had been alone in the wilderness for forty days. The Holy Spirit had led him there following his baptism in the Jordan. Tired and hungry, Jesus is tested three times by ‘the devil’. Each test, or temptation, would involve a turning away from the purposes of God. The first temptation was the suggestion that Jesus relieve his hunger by turning stones to bread. The second (or third in Matthew’s account) required an unacceptable change of allegiance and the third (or second in Matthew) proposed a dramatic display of power.
As an exhausted Jesus rejects each of the three suggestions it becomes clear that he will not be deflected from his calling as the Son of Man. He will not compromise his humanity by calling on divine power to meet his own needs. He will follow the path set out before him whatever the cost. From this moment on there will be no turning back. This is where the story really begins.
Over the next few weeks Christians across the world began marking Lent. In the spirit of overcoming temptation, some will make small personal sacrifices as an outward sign of their inner faith. Others will turn to readings and reflections as they seek to grow in wisdom and understanding. Each in their own way will make a conscious decision to reject the temptation to turn away from the path laid out before them. Here, at the beginning of Lent, is a moment of decision and commitment from which there will be no turning back.
See! The winter is past;
Photo by Aaron Burdon on Unsplashthe rains are over and gone.Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come.(Song of Solomon 2:11-13)Spring is just around the corner. Depending on who you ask, the first day of spring falls either on the first or the twenty-first of March. Looking around at the flowering of the spring bulbs, this year the earlier date seems the best guess.As the late winter snow has melted away, woodlands and gardens are showing signs of new life. Snowdrops and crocuses (or is it crocii?) are in bloom. Daffodils are in bud. Spring is on the way, bringing with it the hope of new beginnings.The first signs of spring this year are accompanied by a mood of cautious optimism. With the worst of the most recent wave of COVID-19 infections receding, there is now a 'roadmap' on the road to recovery. Like the spring buds, the hope that is beginning to flower is fragile. So much depends on the course of nature and the prevailing climate.The winter may have passed. The season of singing has yet to come.
Credit where credit is due. On Sunday the Government vaccination programme reached a milestone. 15 million people in the UK have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Three weeks after the 'grim milestone' of 100.000 deaths, this milestone is positive news.
Response to the news is inevitably mixed. As politicians begin reviewing lockdown rules, a group of MPs are pressing for the removal of restrictions within a couple of months. At the same time, scientists and medics urge caution. High infection rates and the ongoing pressures on hospitals treating COVID patients give cause for concern. Prime minister Johnson and his cabinet face difficult decisions as they meet this week.
This Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for what lies ahead on Easter Sunday. There are difficulties of all kinds to be met on the journey but great joy to be found at its end. In the days before Jesus made his way to Jerusalem for the last time he sought to reassure his friends that whatever challenges they faced, God would be with them at all times. This Lent, as we face the uncertainties of our time, Jesus words as recorded in John's gospel strengthen us to face the journey ahead.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27