What to expect
The best way to get to know us is to come along and join us, but we know that when you go somewhere for the first time, it can help to know a little about what to expect, so here you will find some of the basics.
Here at Stoneygate Baptist Church, we seek to welcome all people. That means that whatever your background, beliefs, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, health or ability, you will be included as one of the family. Anyone who professes Christian faith may be baptised, anyone who wants to commit to the church may seek membership, and anyone who is so called and gifted may lead or serve. We are not perfect and we don’t have all the answers, so we know we will make mistakes and we won’t always agree with one another, but we are committed to listening and learning and loving. If that sounds like the sort of community you would like to be a part of, we would love for you to join us.
Sunday services start at 10:30 and last about an hour. They are normally led by our minister, with members of the congregation providing music and readings. You can expect a mix of hymns and songs from Complete Mission Praise and Baptist Praise and Worship, with the words printed in hymn books and projected onto a screen. We always have prayers and a reading from scripture, as well as a thought provoking sermon and usually some space for reflection. We celebrate communion together on the first Sunday of the month. Around once a quarter, we worship Cafe Church style, sharing breakfast and taking the opportunity for more discussion and creativity. When you arrive, you will be offered a copy of our newsheet so you can find out more about our activities, and after the service, you will be invited to stay for refreshments so you can get to know people.
The church is over one hundred years old, but we have worked hard to make it as accessible as possible. We have a ramp to improve access at the front of the building, as well as step free access at the side of the building. Inside, we have an accessible toilet, including a baby changing unit and a toddler toilet seat. The front half of the main church space (or sanctuary) has chairs laid out in rows, while the back half has chairs around tables, and all of the furniture can be moved to suit access needs. The sanctuary also has a hearing aid loop and AV equipment installed. At the back of the sanctuary, we have a kitchenette so that refreshments can be served with ease, as well as a creche area with toys and activities for our younger visitors.
We seek to be a community that embraces a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs, and so our constitution states quite simply that we are agreed that:
The Christian Church consists of all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of [people] and have consecrated themselves to his service under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit [and that] the sacraments of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
As a Baptist church in membership of Baptists Together, we also hold to the Declaration of Principle of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, which says that:
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who 'died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again the third day'.
It is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
Our minister, Leigh Greenwood, joined us in September 2018, moving to Leicester with her husband and young son. She was previously minister-in-training with Revive Baptist Church in Leeds and has a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of London and a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Durham. She is passionate about the church being a place of welcome and inclusion and has a particular interest in mental health and wellbeing. She also has a keen interest in the links between theology and popular culture and is an enthusiastic convert to the contemplative and imaginative styles of Ignatian Spirituality. Alongside her role at SBC, Leigh is Baptist chaplain at the Chaplaincy to the University of Leicester, co-convenor of the South Leicester Christian Partnership, and a co-opted member of the Baptist Ministers' Fellowship committee.