Category Archives: Events

Reviews of events we’ve been to or been involved with.

Hearts and Minds Conference 2018

Hearts and Minds is an annual day conference, sponsored by three Baptist Theological Colleges, which is designed to create a hospitable space for Baptists to think and talk about theology together.

This year, hearts and minds will be held at the South Wales Baptist College, 54 Richmond Road, Cardiff, CF24 3UR on Thursday 3rd May 2018, 9.30am – 4.00pm.

The day will cost £10. which includes refreshments and lunch.

To book your place, please contact Anita Monks by 19th April by emailing

Keynote Speaker
We look forward to welcoming Dr Kang-San Tan, General Director of BMS World Mission, as our keynote speaker. Prior to starting at BMS in October 2017, Kang-San was Executive Director of AsiaCMS. Heis the official spokesperson for the World Evangelical Alliance on interfaith issues and is a member of the Lausanne Theology Advisory Group. He is familiar with the UK scene having previously taught at Redcliffe College in Gloucester. He has a PhD in the Theology of Religions from Aberdeen University and his research interests include missional leadership, growing missional communities, Asian religions (Islam and Buddhism) and interfaith concerns. He is married to Loun-Ling and their daughter, Chara lives and works in Canada.

Short-paper Sessions
In addition to the keynote address, one of the attractions of hearts and minds is that it creates space for people to present papers about a range of theological topics. For some that means sharing part of the research that they are working on as part of a postgraduate course. For others, it means sharing their ideas about a topic which is of particular interest to them. During the short paper sessions, the idea is for a presentation of 15 to 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes open discussion. If you are interested in presenting such a paper at hearts and minds in May, please send a one page summary of the paper you would like to present to Dr Peter Stevenson at SWBC ( by Thursday 23rd March 2018 at the latest.

As car parking space at the College is very limited please use public transport where possible. The closest train station is Cardiff Queen Street. It’s also possible to walk from Cardiff Central station – but allow yourself 20 to 30 minutes for walking through town (depending on how quickly you walk!).

Coming Up Soon: Godly Play Taster Morning


This event is designed for those who wish to experience and reflect on Godly Play. It will be held within a Godly Play space and is an opportunity to experience a full Godly Play Session.

Godly Play
• Is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture
• Can be used in a variety of settings Churches, schools, hospitals, care homes for the elderly
• Is based on long established, tried and tested approaches
• Uses symbols and objects as well as words
• Values process, openness and discovery
• Encourages people to make meaning for themselves

The Heart of Godly Play
• Creating Sacred Space
• Building and working in community
• Learning religious language
• Using religious language to make meaning

• Welcome and Introductions
• Full Godly Play session – sacred story, wondering, response and feast
• Debrief – Q&A

Godly Play can help you see and do things differently!

Tyndale Baptist Church
Whiteladies Road
Bristol BS8 2QG

Saturday 23rd September, 9.30am – 11.30am.

Breakfast butties & drinks will be provided.

Suggested donation of £5.

To book your place please contact Sian Hancock or Alison Summerskill.

Hearts and Minds 2017

Bigger and better than last year, and with a new venue too. Hearts and Minds is a conference for Baptist Ministers where you will have an opportunity to present or listen to papers within a friendly, supportive environment.

This year’s keynote speaker will be David Kerrigan, General Director, BMS World Mission.

Hearts and Minds will take place on Tuesday 4th April, 2017, 9.30am- 4pm at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

Cost: £10, to include refreshments and lunch

To offer a paper, contact Anthony Clarke by 13th March:

To book your place, please contact Sharon Merry by 20th March:

It’s sure to be an exciting day and we hope to see you there!

Incarnational Living

After 25 years of urban mission in Melbourne and Bangkok, Ash Barker with wife Anji and son Aiden are now immersed in the life of Winson Green, Birmingham, where they have founded and lead Newbigin House. Ash was the founding director of Urban Neighbours of Hope, and is the current director of Micah Global’s International Society for Urban Mission. Ash recently visited Bristol Baptist College and led a session where he reflected on the questions: what have you learned about the nature of incarnational missional communities through your time in Bangkok? How might these insights both shape and challenge our approach to mission in a city like Bristol? Have a look at some of the highlights in the video below.

Upcoming Event – Whitley Lecture 2017


Dan Taylor was a leading eighteenth-century evangelical General Baptist minister who was founder of the New Connexion of General Baptists. This lecture provides new light on his theology and asks questions about the origins of evangelicalism and the way it was shaped by the values of the Enlightenment. Taylor was an innovator, a thinker and a pioneer, and worth our attention when contemplating the missional challenges of the 21st century.

Led by Rev Dr Richard T. Pollard – Minister & Team Leader, Fishponds Baptist Church, Bristol

Held at Bristol Baptist College on 7th February 2017 at 7.30pm, with light refreshments from 7pm.

For more information or to book your place please email

Upcoming Event – Ash Barker: From Bangkok to Bristol

What can we learn about incarnational living?

After 25 years of urbaashbarkern mission in Melbourne and Bangkok, Ash Barker with wife Anji and son Aiden are now immersed in the life of Winson Green, Birmingham, where they have founded and lead Newbigin House. Ash was the founding director of Urban Neighbours of Hope, and is the current director of Micah Global’s International Society for Urban Mission.

Ash has been invited to reflect on the question: what have you learned about the nature of incarnational missional communities through your time in Bangkok? How might these insights both shape and challenge our approach to mission in a city like Bristol?

The event takes place on 2nd November, 2 – 4.30pm at Lawrence Weston Baptist Church, BS110QP.

Tickets are free to book but we ask for a £5 donation on the day.

Please book your tickets online in advance at:

Hearts and Minds

We recently hosted an inspiring ‘Hearts and Minds’ day conference, in conjunction with Regent’s and South Wales Baptist Colleges. We heard some excellent papers from ministerial and other colleagues who are engaged in ongoing research and reflection.

A personal highlight for me (and I was unable to attend all the papers, due to parallel sessions) included a paper on disability theology by Revd Martin Hobgen, who drew our attention to the historic shifts in societal attitudes towards disability, and offered a theology of friendship as a possible paradigm for a more inclusive church.

The keynote address was given by Revd Dr Ian Stackhouse, who reflected with honesty and clarity on a family encounter with dementia, and offered theological insights around the issues of presence and personhood in this context.

The conference was well-attended, and a straw poll at the end of the day indicated a definite appetite for another one next summer. Watch this space!

Revd Dr Helen Paynter
Coordinator, Community Learning

College Valedictory Service 2016

On Saturday 11th June the college held its annual valedictory service where we celebrate and send out our leaving students. We had a wonderful morning hearing about their achievements, and although we’ll miss them all very much we’re incredibly proud of every single one of them. Have a look at some of the photos from the day below.

Hearts and Minds Conference

I am very excited to say that things are firming up for our Hearts and Minds conference in early June. It looks like a fascinating day – we have papers on church hopping; theology of friendship and disability; and how to disciple post-moderns, among others – plus of course our fantastic keynote speaker Ian Stackhouse reflecting on personhood and dementia.

It’s not too late to submit a paper – see the event page for more details. To book your place at the conference email by 22nd May. The conference is free to attend, and lunch costs £5 or feel free to bring your own.

Revd Dr Helen Paynter

Youth & Children’s Work South West Retreat

For the last few years, BCYM have been involved in the delivery of the Youth and Children’s Work South West ConIMG_7337ference, in Exeter. This year, on our seventh year of running we decided to do something a bit different, and instead of running a conference, we ran a retreat. The theme was ‘Untitled’ – a day to leave behind all the labels that can end up defining both ourselves and our ministry, and find space to seek the presence of God in order to be refreshed for our life of service for Him.

During the day there was a variety of workshops, seminars, worship streams and labyrinth-style spaces to choose from, both indoors and outside. We created six spaces, designed so that everyone could meet with God in a way that suited them. The spaces were;

HEAD SPACE – challenging and engaging Bible teaching to help us re-discover the majesty and wonder of God, and develop intimacy with Him.
PRAYER SPACE – individual ‘prayer pods’ IMG_7338containing things to help you reconnect with God through prayer and reflection.
CREATIVE SPACE – a variety of expert-led, interactive and creative presentations using art, photography and poetry to help explore God’s character.
JOURNEY SPACE – a variety of ‘stations’ designed to help us connect with God through prayer and contemplation.
LISTENING SPACE – a chance to meet with an experienced and trained listener if anyone wanted help with any aspect of their life or ministry.
DISCUSSION SPACE – an opportunity to discuss issues relating to the theme of the day.

Dylan Barker from Frontier Youth Trust and myself, facilitated the Journey Space. We had a range of stations hIMG_7344elping people reflect on their roles, job titles, how to balance and juggle differing roles, the labels young people are given, the labels we give ourselves and our communities, and a chance to think about how God sees us. It was amazing to see so many people make use of the space to chill out, reflect and spend time with God.

For me, the highlight of the day was hearing from poet, writer and retreat leader Ian Adams. Ian spoke brilliantly in the morning about what retreat is, and then led some creative workshops throughout the day on photography, poetry and doodling or mark making. As a creative I really enjoyed his tips and tricks about how to use these methods to spend time with God.

It was a fantastic day, and genuinely the best youth retreat I’ve ever been involved with. I hope we do it all again next year!

Jo Dolby
Youth & Community Work Lecturer