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November 13, 2008



Hi Andy,

I'm not sure if your second question makes sense. If the BU genuinely is simply the union, participation and association of the churches, then is not the leadership of the Union the same as the leadership of the churches?

Perhaps we're talking past each other, or perhaps I'm simply being idealistic? But does the Union really have leadership, in that sense?

simon jones

Hey Andy,
I think your first question could be asked from the opposite end, namely what would be different if the Union didn't exist?
Yes, we'd have to find new ways of managing an acredited list, home mission and the pension fund, but doesn't relating happen better at local rather than national level?
I think I'm a baptist but I'm not sure I gave BU Council a thought over the past few days, only knowing it was meeting because Baptist bloggers kept reminding me it was Sean's last one as moderator. I haven't a clue what was on the agenda, no one canvassed my views on any of the subjects being discussed. At least the LBA keeps me posted on what discussions are going on within the association.
With a number of the regional associations being larger than the national unions of Wales, Scotland and Ireland - London, for example, having more than twice the number of churches and a considerably bigger budget than Scotland - it raises the question where BUGB fits in. How about BUGB mutating into FBB and not having a policy role at all?

andy goodliff

Simon - i think you're right and i think there are some big questions for both the Union and associations to be asking. I asked the way I did, because it seems in some associations, outside of the Regional Ministers (who do a fantastic job), the involvement of local church is limited to even non-existent. This may be a result of some associations becoming bigger as a result of the changes at the end of the 1990s that make it difficult, if not sometimes, impossible. Baptist identity has become so local, that there is very little wider ecclesial expression. this is something we should, in my opinion, be very concerned about.

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