This coming weekend sees 365 years since the Baptist believers meeting at Sutton in the Elms became established as a Church congregation. In the mid sixteen-hundreds persecution by the Established Church meant that worshippers could not have a building, but met in the seclusion of the Elms woodland. Today the premises have developed from very meagre beginnings to an iconic, listed building. Further development is envisaged soon, to improve accessibility and bring facilities up-to-date.
The Anniversary celebration will mark a ‘year of years’, since the first minister was appointed, and the oldest Baptist Church in Leicestershire came into being. Ironically, as 2016 is a leap year, next year’s celebration will also be a ‘year of years’.
On Sunday the Church is looking forward to the ministry of Rev. Mark Clay, visiting from the neighbouring Baptist Church, in Whetstone, with whom there are strong links. Previous ministers are being contacted, and it is hoped they may be able to contribute, at least with messages.
A blessing in the last few months has been the appointment of a Family Worker, who is devoting his efforts to the needs of the local community. The aim is to tailor what is done in the Church more towards families.
The Church operates a number of activities for young people, and over the years a great number of youngsters will have grown up, and have families of their own. A special welcome is extended to those no longer associated with the Church, to come and visit once again – and join the celebration.
A comprehensive pamphlet giving the history of Sutton in the Elms Baptist Church was produced around 2004. Get in touch if you’d like to read more.
(member of the leadership team)