This is the blog of Rev Peter Thomas,
I retired in January 2023 after 12 years being minister of North Springfield Baptist Church in Chelmsford, Essex CM1 6JP – see www.northspringfieldbaptistchurch.org. See also our church Group on Facebook.
I have been a Baptist minister since 1986. I previously served churches in Tunbridge Wells, Borehamwood. Brentwood and now North Springfield. i am particularly interested in New Testament theology, pastoral ministry, outreach and church growth and new media.
All my weekly Sermons and Bible Studies at NSBC since 2010 appear online at www.pbthomas.com/blog
I also have a blog about outreach and evangelism at www.takingeveryopportunity.org
I am on Facebook as pbthomas1
I am on Twitter @pbthomas
Who am I?
From a background of no contact with Christianity I became a Christian at the age of 16. I went from Manchester Grammar School to Trinity Hall Cambridge to study Natural Sciences eventually specialising in Organic Chemistry. I took the PGCE with distinction and the Charles Fox Prize at Cambridge and moved from teaching practice to my first job teaching science and later also Computer Studies under (now Professor Sir) John Holman at Watford Grammar School. After four years and a couple of minor publications I moved (with many happy memories) to study Theology at London Bible College (now London School of Theology).
I was ordained to Baptist Ministry in 1986 and became Assistant Minister at Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church under Rev. Philip Gathercole. I was particularly involved in establishing their Learning Centre which led to writing HELP 1 published by the Baptist Union of Great Britain in 1991. (See HELPs – resources for Christian Education.) I was also privileged to serve for two years as President of the Tunbridge Wells Council of Christian Churches.
Borehamwood and Elstree
In 1991 I became Minister of Borehamwood Baptist Church. During the next eight years we were excited to work with Elstree Congregational Church in establishing a church plant “Elstree Free Church – a different kind of church”, one of the earliest examples of Cafe Church holding its Sunday Services seated on chairs around tables surrounded by Monet prints. Elstree Free Church has always had a particular ministry with friends with Learning Disabilities. Meanwhile during 1993-1995 I was enabled to study part time for the MA in Aspects of Biblical Interpretation at London Bible College.
In 1999 we moved to a new challenge as Minister of Brentwood Baptist Church in Essex. This gave exciting opportunities for links with churches in Bulgaria and Uganda, and I have now visited Uganda twice and Bulgaria three times. In November 2001 I also took on the responsibility of Moderator of Churches Together in Brentwood and changed roles in 2007 to become Secretary. I was involved in establishing the national Churches Network for Gypsies and Travellers and was involved for many years with Harvest For The Hungry. I also served on the committee and as webmaster for On the Move East “free lunch barbecue” missions.
The door opened for me to become Minister of North Springfield Baptist Church on the outskirts of Chelmsford in Essex with a Welcome Service on 17th October 2010. The challenge to reach out to an estate of more than 10,000 people is both exciting and daunting but we have already seen many encouragements and considerable growth! North Springfield is currently expanding north in the new areas of Beaulieu giving us another 2000 houses in our patch. You can find more about North Springfield Baptist Church on our website:www.northspringfieldbaptistchurch.org
You can also follow what is happening on the Facebook Page for North Springfield Baptist Church.
I served for nine years on the Council of the Eastern Baptist Association with responsibilities for Finance and Administration (apparently that means I “keep them on the straight and narrow”) and on the EBA Home Mission Grants Committee. I was also a director and the Treasurer and Webmaster of the national College of Baptist Ministers. Read more about CBM here
My wife Ruth has retired as a schoolteacher, most recently as Director of Learning for the Multi Academy HEARTS Trust of Primary Schools. We have three children: Lizzie graduated in Pharmacology and qualified as a teacher in Cambridge and with her barrister husband Giles has given us our wonderful granddaughter Ellie and grandson Mark; Susie graduated in Drama from Queen Mary College, London, and runs a dog-grooming business in South Wales. Susie is married to Tom and their gorgeous son is Finnley. After doing post-doctoral research in neuroscience at University College London our son David is now a business consultant.
In spare minutes I enjoy playing piano and guitar and doing all kinds of things with computers but am also kept busy by our wonderful banoffee spaniel Sophie, daughter of our previous black spaniel Poppy. They were the founders of the Facebook Group “Dogs in Ministry”, the first and only international ecumenical fellowship of clergy dogs which now has more than 1000 members – see http://pbthomas.com/juneblog/