Counting the costs and benefits

The fee which churches are being asked to pay for the Baptist Union of Wales Consolidated Budget 2023 is £18.50 per member, an increase of 50p or 2.8 per cent on last year’s figure.

This charge inevitably leads to a number of questions about how the union spends the money. BUW General Secretary Judith Morris has written to the churches to answer some of these questions and to give other useful background upon the financial challenges which the union faces.

Go to full transcript of letter

Join the fight against poverty

Give… Act…Pray! That was the best way for people to get involved with and support organisations like Tearfund as they battled to fight poverty and injustice in communities across the world.

Dr Cynan Llwyd, Tearfund Cymru Team Lead, threw down this challenge when he spoke to representatives of Baptist churches from across Gwent. “We must widen our horizons and actively speak out about subjects such as climate change, extreme poverty, people trafficking and gender violence.

“We must not hunker down in the comfort of our own homes and ignore God’s call in His Word to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel. We can do this through acts of practical love to help alleviate the effects on people in local communities trying to survive drought, floods, famine and a variety of injustices which are shattering their dreams”, he said.

“The good news is that if God has laid something on your heart, if the Holy Spirit has planted a seed of desire to help others less fortunate than yourselves in your soul, there is no power on earth than can stop it”, Dr Llwyd added. This had been demonstrated in so many cases where partnership between Tearfund and local churches had resulted in previously-neglected communities being transformed by new growth.


He was speaking at the Autumn Council Meeting of the Gwent Baptist Association held at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Blackwood.

Tearfund is a Christian charity with more than 50 years of experience in international development. It believes that poverty is not God’s plan and that an end to extreme poverty is possible. Tearfund adopts a three-pronged approach to tackling complex poverty – humanitarian response, community development and through advocacy and influencing at the local, national and global levels. To find out more and how to support Tearfund, go to

Others who took part in the Autumn Council Meeting were the Reverends Marc Owen (Risca), Jonathan Forman (Blaenau Gwent), Mark Thomas (Blackwood) and Huw Stephens (Rogerstone).

Back in Contact!

After a long spell of absence, it’s great to be able to say our newsletter, Contact is up and running again.

Production difficulties and then the Covid-19 pandemic knocked the feet from under us but now we are rearing to go again with a bright new look.

Contact, first published in March/April 2014, is designed to help you feel connected with the Association and its constituent churches and to feature news that is of importance to you. It’s also a means by which you can communicate news to the rest of us.

We plan to produce Contact at least three times a year and, in particular, we wish to feature “good news” stories about what God is doing in our churches and the communities they serve. Association secretary Geoff Champion (07889 798314) is the editor while Laura Moody is in charge of design and production. You can access the newsletter here.

Prayer Plan

The Revds John Forman and Tim Moody have developed another 24-hour prayer plan followed by a 24-day programme for September onwards, along the same lines as previous initiatives. to share with the churches. They have also liaised with ICE Wales to encourage prayers for schools.

A schools’ prayer time, organised in conjunction with ICE Wales, was held via Zoom on Thursday 1st September. On Tuesday 27th September through to Wednesday, 28th September 24hrs of prayer on the Life of Jesus, using the booklet; ” Pray without Ceasing “ as a guide, will be held. It will begin at 7pm on 27th September and close with a joint service on 28th September which will be in person, with an option to join via Zoom. The venue for the joint service will be Bethesda, Rogerstone.

Ron still preaching the Good News

South Wales-based evangelist Ron Spillards has been on a mission for more than 60 years to reach the lost with the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now 85-year- old Ron has captured his story and reflections in his autobiography “How Long?…. Until!”

Ron Spillards

Ron, who lives at Blackwood and is a member at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, was educated at Rutlish School, Wimbledon and became a Christian while a student. Later, his whole family became Christians. He has held many leadership roles and he and his late wife Christine were key players in helping to organise the Mission Wales and Tell Wales movements in the 1980’s. In 1991, he became National Director of The Evangelization Society  (TES) and later vice president and president.

Ron also chaired the Wales Lausanne Cymru Committee and he was a member of the International Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, with special responsibilities for Europe.

Throughout this time Ron has faithfully served many churches in Wales and England as a visiting preacher and he still has a busy diary of engagements. He is also a long-serving officer and trustee of the Gwent Baptist Association.

Ron has a burden that the role of the evangelist should still be a crucial part of Christian outreach today – one of the reasons why he has put pen to paper and produced the book, sponsored by the Gwent Baptist Association and gifts from individuals.

Ron said: “It would not have been possible to put my story and reflections on being an evangelist into print without the enormous help of two people – Geoffrey Champion, secretary of the GBA and my daughter Deborah. Also, of course, my wife Christine had such a wonderful part in my story for which I am eternally grateful.”


Apart from Deborarh, Ron has another daughter, Dinah, a son-in-law Pete and two grandchildren.

Among his hobbies and interests, Ron has been an enthusiastic supporter of Glamorgan County Cricket Club for many years; he has a keen interest in heritage steam railways and is a strong supporter of the Gwent National Trust Association.

In the Foreword to the book, Dr M David Enoch, emeritus consultant psychiatrist, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and a patron of the TES, says: “His (Ron’s) story is an encouragement to others, in an age when there is much fake and false news, to take up the baton, and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ’s unconditional love and hope.”

The book, designed by Allison Watmon of AW Graphic Design and printed via Pete Walters of Printbridge, Saltash, Cornwall, is available free of charge but donations would be gratefully received to cover postal and packaging costs. Copies of the book can be obtained by sending your name, address and telephone number to the Gwent Baptist Association at

Let’s gossip the Gospel!

Wales can celebrate a long tradition of having effective public preachers or proclaimers of the Gospel but we have not been so comfortable at bearing witness to the love of Christ on a one-to-one basis.  That was one of the key messages of guest speaker Lindsay Brown, head of Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe, at the online Spring meeting of the Gwent Baptist Association on 24 March.

“Effective evangelism is also a matter of gossiping the Good News of Jesus and his saving power every day with our families, neighbours and friends. The practical, simple approach is often far better and God can use anyone provided they are obedient to Christ”, Mr. Brown said.

Referring to the Book of Acts chapter 8  and the account of Philip being led by the Spirit to witness to the Ethiopian,  Mr Brown highlighted a number of other key principles of evangelism including: being open and sensitive to the Gospel every day; asking God to lead us to individuals who have the potential to do a great job for God; using questions to draw people into discussion and self-examination of their own beliefs; recognising the danger of drifting away from focussing upon the person of Christ and asking God to lead us to people ready to receive the Gospel.

“Please do not give up on family, friends and neighbours because God can and will open hearts”, said Mr Brown who also served as the International Director for the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelization.

More than 50 people attended the event at which a book written by Blackwood-based evangelist Ron Spillards – “How Long?…Until!” – was officially launched. Others taking part during the evening were The Revds. Tim Moody, Richard Miles Marc Owen, Huw Stephens and Jonathan Forman along with Mr. Geoffrey Champion.

Seize this prayer opportunity!

The Gwent Baptist Association is progressing its two- year prayer programme as we seek God together to work amongst us and establish His Kingdom in our communities.

The next opportunity to seek God in prayer together is starting on the 10th January and running through to the 2nd of February.

The Association will also be holding a 24hr prayer day on Wednesday 2 February (00.00 -23.59) and more info will be available in the next few weeks.

The 24 days of prayer, based upon the life of Nehemiah, will feature a person who heard the call of God to rebuild what was lying in ruins; how the Israelite community came together in challenging times to honour the call of God upon their lives and together accomplish His will.

What was His will in their day? To rebuild the wall that lay in ruins. However, it was so much more than bricks and mortar because Yahweh was using the opportunity of a broken wall to rebuild a people; to unite them around His vision and will for their lives, to equip them for works of service and instil in them the characteristics of God’s holy people.

May this be the prayer for our churches and communities today as we journey through Nehemiah’s story. We pray that we might be united around the common purpose of seeking God in prayer and then living out those prayers together as one body under Christ.

God bless you and your fellowships in 2022.

The Revd. Jonathan Forman

Patterns of Mission

The 2021 Autumn Council Meeting of the Gwent Baptist Association will be held “live” via Zoom on Thursday, 30th September (7.30pm). The main theme for the event, which will incorporate some brief items of AGM business, will be ” Patterns of Mission in a post- Covid Age”. The guest speaker will be the Revd. Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance. All are welcome. To join the main meeting at 7.30pm or a question and answer session about Association business at 7pm click on:

Missional workers bound for Gwent

A message from Association President Tim Moody.                                                                                                 

I am excited to pass on wonderful news of something God has been stirring within the Gwent Baptist Association in partnership with the Baptist Union of Wales. Working alongside the BUW and, in particular, Simeon Baker, the Association officers have been looking at the possibility of welcoming two missional workers from Los Angeles to the Gwent area.

Simeon said:“As a Union, we are pleased to be working in partnership with the Gwent Baptist Association to offer this opportunity of ministry and mission to the churches. We are humbled that God is calling people from beyond our shores to engage in reverse mission here in Wales. Jeff and Linda Kim have been known to us for some time as we have prayed with them and held numerous conversations over the past 18 months. We now look forward to welcoming them in August. 

“They come with a heart to serve the church here in Wales and experience of cross-cultural mission. We are grateful to the Rev Peter Cho and the fellowship at Tabernacle, Newbridge for helping Jeff and Linda learn more about church life here in Wales before moving to the place God has for them. We invite you as churches to pray with us, that God would open a door for them to minister and serve in one of our churches. Pray for them also that they may know Gods provision and blessing as they travel and move home all the way from Los Angeles to Wales. Welcome them and take them to your hearts.”

As an Association, we want to thank Simeon and BUW for all their work in bringing about this fantastic opportunity, and it is with great excitement we look forward to welcoming Jeff and Linda to Gwent. Please could I encourage you all to lift these two wonderful people in your prayers as they make the final preparations for their move to our region. 

More information will follow soon about opportunities for churches to be involved with this incredible move of God.

Every blessing


24-hour Prayer Event

The Gwent Baptist Association is running a 24-hour Prayer Event via Zoom on 7th -8th May. The main theme is based upon the life of David and is adapted from Chapter One of Jonathan Forman’s new booklet Pray without Ceasing. Individuals, groups and church congregations are encouraged to take part. The appendix to the notes prepared for the event shows a sign-up sheet which can be used by individual churches to organise people for the prayer day allowing them to choose a specific hour they would like to cover.

The prayer event begins with a Family Prayer time at 4.30pm on the Friday and it will conclude on the Saturday with a Final Celebration at 7pm. For more details on prayer topics and how to take part , please click here . You can also contact Jonathan Forman on