How do we work?
This page tells you a little more about what is means to be a Baptist church and how our church is organised.
How our church is organised
Hopefully you will have gathered that it is the responsibility of the whole church to direct what the church does, but to serve that purpose we need to have some organisation! So here is a brief introduction to how it all works.
The church members meet regularly to discuss the work of the church. Together the members aim to discern what’s on God’s mind for our community and make decisions based on that discernment. If you would like to consider becoming a church member, and thereby being able to take a fuller role in the church, please contact the church office.
The church is served by a team of Deacons, who are also trustees. The Deacons meet regularly to discuss the day to day running of the church. One of their chief roles is to do the preliminary thinking work towards decisions and bring recommendations to the church.
There is a core team of workers who meet regularly together to pray, support each other and discuss what’s going on. It normally includes any ministers employed by the church, the youth worker, pastoral care coordinator and church secretary.
There are a number of smaller teams (we’re calling them ‘Focus Teams’) who look after specific areas of what the church does:
- Children & Families
- Youth Work
- Work with Seniors
- Pastoral Care
- Social Justice
- Prayer & Worship
- Communications & outreach
All of this organisation is underpinned by people praying for the work of the church!
What does it mean to be a Baptist church?
We meet each week to worship God, to learn from scripture and to pray for the needs of the world (both near to us and far away).
We are a ‘Baptist‘ church and so an important part of our understanding of our faith is that after someone has made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, they should experience and celebrate baptism. We normally baptise people by full immersion in a purpose-made pool of water called a baptistry. The Baptist Union website has lots of great information about what it means to be a Baptist.
Looking at people as individuals, we think that it is the responsibility of each Christian to take their place in God’s mission to the world, sharing with those around them about the good news for all people of Jesus Christ. Looking at the church as people together, we understand that it is the responsibility of each local Baptist congregation to work out what God thinks about our local neighbourhood. We have regular church meetings where we gather to pray to God and listen to the Holy Spirit together, and to take decisions about how the church will serve Westbury-on-Trym and the wider world.
Some things are definitely done better together with others! So we are a member church of the Baptist Union of Great Britain which serves us nationally and the West of England Baptist Association, which serves us locally. We are also partners with Christians from other denominations both in the UK and around the world which includes working alongside the ten Churches Together in the Westbury Area. And we work closely with Lawrence Weston Baptist Church.
We have been serving the community on Westbury on Trym since 1947 when our History and Journey started.