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Cricklewood Baptist Church: partnerships with other churches

Unity and Collaboration

CricklewoodBaptistChurchSince being at Cricklewood Baptist Church from 2013, I, (the Revd Stephen Maclean) have developed good links with other churches in the local area from the Baptist family and from other denominations.

I have set up leaders' lunches which has ministers from a Baptist, Anglican and Pentecostal background as well as Youth With A Mission.

I have spent time meeting various pastors over tea and coffee and praying together.

St Gabriel’s Church (0.5 miles away)
  • I regularly attend a local Anglican church in the evenings and have preached on a number of occasions.
  • I help run a monthly children’s club called The Ark.
  • Both myself and the children’s worker go into a local primary school to take school assemblies together.
  • We go on prayer walks around our local community together.
  • Have a joint Maundy Thursday service.
  • Help at each other’s annual holiday Bible club.

Joy House (3 Miles away)
  • This is a Pentecostal church that we have joined on marches of witness and also helping to run an annual family fun day.

Claremont Free Church (Baptist) (1.4 miles away)
  • Cricklewood and Claremont historically have had a few joint services together and this has continued. 
  • We have had cream teas together and also joint Advent services. 
  • I have met up regularly with the previous minister before he left to go to another church. 
  • I have been a moderator for them during their search for a new minister.

Filipino Church (on site)
  • A Filipino church meets in Cricklewood Baptist’s building.  One of the conditions of allowing them to use it was that we must have joint services together.  This is usually 2-3 times a year and we also join each other for each other’s anniversaries and take part.

Willesden Green Baptist Church (1 mile away)
  • I have preached in their evening services and for special events.
  • We have helped each other at each other’s holiday Bible clubs.
  • At the moment Cricklewood Baptist is allowing Willesden BC to use our building free of charge for some of their ministries during their building project.

Kensal Rise Baptist Tabernacle (2.5 miles away)
  • The church at the moment has no minister so I preach once a month in the evening, and help them with funeral services at the church.
  • I have also helped their leadership team with ideas on how to reach people in the community and been a consultant for a ReFocus programme.

J. John Training
  • I invited J John to come to Cricklewood Baptist church to do training on evangelism, and he said yes!  A number of people from various churches came along on the Saturday morning and had around 50 people.  It was a bit disappointing not more came but was probably due to an early start on a Saturday.  It was still very worthwhile. When we invited other churches some of their responses to me was “Are you sure he is coming to your church and it’s not a video?!”

Easter Sunrise Service
  • In 2015 I had the vision to start a sunrise service in Gladstone Park.  Up until now the churches were doing their own thing.  Each year the number of people attending has grown and in 2019, it brought people from Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Catholic churches, as well as YWAM.  This year there were around 40 people attending.
  • After the 6am service we head back to Cricklewood Baptist for a full English breakfast that has proved very popular.

Homeless Shelter
  • Cricklewood Baptist Church started and helped host a homeless shelter for 10 weeks for people who otherwise would have slept rough on the streets.  Other churches involved were the Methodist church in Harlesden, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Claremont Free Church and also the local Pakistan community centre.

Watoto Children’s Choir (from Uganda)
  • We have had the choir three times at Cricklewood Baptist Church and each time several churches come along and bring people. They cancel their evening services to attend and invite friends and family.

Christmas Outreach
  • Each year we do carol singing in the main street and at the railway station as a group of churches locally.  We produce one leaflet with details of each church and times of the services to hand out to people.

Cricklewood Festival
  • In the past Cricklewood Baptist and St Gabriel’s have had separate stalls.  We now have one and work under a banner 'Christians in Cricklewood' and usually do crafts, face painting etc and speak to people about Alpha and our churches.

Alpha Course
  • St Gabriel’s have long run Alpha courses so if anyone is interested in Christianity, I bring them along to St Gabriel’s and stay with them for the course.

YWAM (Youth With A Mission)
  • For many years I have had links with YWAM and this has continued to grow at Cricklewood Baptist Church.  I allowed seven lads to stay with me for four months as they were in London for training.
  • YWAM help the church with worship and our children’s ministry.
  • YWAM also helped us recently as we were invited into a local school to help in the fun evening.  The school had previously been closed to us going in but they actually approached us and asked if they could use our bouncy castle and allowed us to give out leaflets about the church.  As a result, several new children attended our weekly children’s club.

Football Holiday Club
  • In the Summer of 2019, I wanted to do something in Gladstone Park for young people but did not want it just to be a Cricklewood Baptist project.  I contacted ‘Ambassadors in Sport’ about hosting a football club for three days and also spoke to the leadership teams of St Gabriel’s and Willesden Green Baptist churches.  All agreed and we are excited about this venture and each church has agreed to split the costs between them.  It went ahead and was a great event with a mixture of about 30 non-churched, Muslim and Jewish children playing.

The Future:

Cafe/Drop in
I have the vision to set up a cafe/ drop-in centre for people on a main high street.  This would be a joint churches' initiative and supported by different churches, and volunteers.  This is still in the vision and planning stages and I have met with local leaders who are very excited about the idea.  At the time of writing, the café premises are still empty due to lockdown.  The Council are in talks with someone but if that falls through, the churches' group are next in line – let’s pray!
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Cricklewood Baptist Church developing good links with other churches in the local area from the Baptist family and other denominations
A small church doing what they can do and content to let God do what only he can