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Rev Peter Thomas - North Springfield Baptist Church
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 at Cambridge and moved from teaching practice to my first job teaching science and later Computer Studies under (now Professor Sir) John Holman. After four years and a couple of minor publications I moved (with many happy memories) to study Theology at London Bible College.
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 few churches which holds 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 www.harvestforthehungry.co.uk. I also served on the committee and as webmaster for On the Move “free lunch barbecue” missions - see www.onthemoveeast.org.
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! 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 currently serve on the Steering Group of Churches Together in Chelmsford and I am a member of Council and of the Mission Task Group of the Eastern Baptist Association and moderate its online forum “EBA Talking About Mission” - www.easternbaptist.org.uk/missionforum. I am also a director and Treasurer on the Interim Board of the newly formed national College of Baptist Ministers.
My wife Ruth is Assistant Head of a primary school. We have three children: Lizzie graduated in Pharmacology and is teaching in Cambridge; Susie graduated in Drama from Queen Mary College, London, and works at a boarding and breeding kennels in Surrey. David is studying Biochemistry at Bristol University. In spare minutes I enjoy playing piano and guitar and doing all kinds of things with computers but am usually kept busy by our wonderful young spaniel Poppy.
Other websitesound at
For the Church Network for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma visit www.cngt.org.uk