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Copyright © The Baptist Centre Middleton Cheney 2016
Site design and photography by Amber

WHY THE BAPTIST CENTRE?

Although it had been known as Middleton Cheney Baptist Church since 1740, the group meeting in the building in the 1990s decided to change its name to New Life Community Church. Many people with a long connection to the village sensed the loss of its Baptist fellowship. However, the return to Middleton Cheney of the Rev John R Jeffs heralded a return for the church to its Baptist roots. John's family tree goes back many hundreds of years in Middleton Cheney, and connects him to many families still living in the village. Though very in touch with the 21st century, John has a keen sense of history, and has encouraged the restoration of its Baptist identity.

The reason for calling our building a 'centre' rather than a 'church' is to help people realise that the premises is a place for the gathering together of God’s people. The word church is a mistranslation of the New Testament word ekklēsia which means “a calling out” or “a gathering”. Although people associate the term ‘church’ with a building, we want to focus on the true meaning of ekklesia as a gathering of people from many different locations, but constituting a fellowship of God’s people.

Having run a youth club from 2004 until 2011, and a Girls’ Brigade until 2011, the fellowship has always been keen to work in the village. Today, we have formed a support group called  “Parents Talking Asperger's” for families who try to make sense of living the highs and lows of a life with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Our desire is to return the building to a central role in the lives of people, as well as a gathering place for the Baptist fellowship. It is heart-warming to see the centre becoming a significant resource in the lives of many people.