News from the Team  


Revd Stuart Davison

SEBA's Regional Minister Team Leader


Last month Gill and I did our family ‘pub quiz’ on-line. All our children and their partners take part and then report their results. A recent question stumped me: ‘Who was the designer of the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman locomotives?’ Now, these are two of my favourite trains. The Flying Scotsman was the first steam train to do 100 mph (that’s 161 kpm for any younger readers, but we didn’t think in those terms then) and the Mallard, that A4 class wonderful blue streak that still holds the steam train record at 126 mph (you can work that out for yourself if you want it in kph). I have stood on the foot plate of the Mallard. But who designed it? I think there are many who appreciate the beauty and intricacy of this world we live in; who stand amazed at a sunset or a mountain range, yet if asked don’t know who designed it. Someone defined an atheist as someone who sees a beautiful sunset and just doesn’t know who to thank! Check out the teleological argument for intelligent design and the watchmaker analogy. Of course, I hope COP26 means we all are even more aware of how we are stewards of God’s creation, not owners, and have our own part to play in both being care-takers and pointing others to the Creator. Our own BUEN (Baptist Union Environmental Network and the SEBA part of it, led by Trevor Beckett) gives us the opportunity to keep informed of the issues. This is a number one issue for many thinking young people and churches who don’t preach or teach about it and things raised will alienate the very people we see missing from many of our churches. We show ourselves to be irrelevant to the world by ignoring this.

btw, it was Sir Nigel Gresley – who designed the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman and God who designed the sunset! 

Like many others Gill and I have had to change whatever plans we had for this summer just gone. A summer which started and ended with the ‘Ordination and Induction Season’ with a quieter patch in the middle. One of the best parts of my job is ordaining new ministers and new ministers coming into churches here in SEBA. Sadly, the latter often means that we have said goodbye to leaders who have been called elsewhere. But its good to know that God is still working out His plans even when ours have to change.