News from the Team  

Revd Michael Fanstone



Without exception, and whether we liked it or not, change is something that we’ve had to cope with in the last seventeen months. The pandemic has meant that virtually every area of our lives has had to bend in order to help us to adapt to the COVID-19 threat. I think that one of the few things that hasn’t changed in the last eighteen months is my breakfast menu, where each day I’ve been able to enjoy my favourite cereals, toast and coffee!

Across the country, churches have had to adapt big-time, and certainly, within SEBA, many churches have released wonderfully creative new ministries, many of them digital, as we’ve found positive ways to keep serving God, our church families and our wider communities. However, the challenges haven’t yet stopped rolling in, because now the challenge many of us are facing is how to create an effective hybrid church – one that caters equally well for both in-person attendees, and those who relate to the church digitally. Be sure of the prayers and support of the SEBA Team as you seek God and explore how you can be used to bring God’s presence to people both to your immediate locality, and those who opt to engage via computer screen, as many do.

As you wrestle with this, the South Eastern Baptist Association will be getting used its new structures, personnel and new ways of functioning. The Executive is now consigned to history, and in its place are three Teams: the Leadership Team, the Trustees and the Operations Team. While Stuart will lead the Leadership Team, and me the Trustees, the Operations Team will be led by David Sheldon, formerly our Company Secretary, but now our Operations Manager too. Our conviction is that the new structures will help SEBA to serve you and your church more effectively, while freeing up our Regional Ministers to be more supportive of you and your fellowship. We really hope you’ll find ways to engage with them – in good times, as well as bad.

What is unchanged is SEBA’s vision and passion. As much as ever, we want to see God moving and working in and through all the churches in our Association. Our dream is to see numerous lives touched and changed by the Gospel, and more people than ever living for Christ inside the church and out, and helping to transform our society right across South Eastern England. We hope and pray that you’ll engage with us as we seek to support and encourage you. We are, after all, fellow-servants of Christ.