HBC is one of the key churches in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, in the north-east of England, working closely in partnership with other churches and groups. We have seen exciting opportunities to work in unity with local churches to put on the Heaton Festival in 2011, to partner in the Eden Project in the North East, to do Healing on the Streets and to host regional events. HBC is linked to the New Wine network and the Baptist Fresh Streams group.
Our buildings are part 19th century chapel, and part 21st century … well … Life Centre! Something seems to be happening here every day from Mums and Toddler groups or Dads with kids groups, English language classes, international groups, youth activities, CAP debt courses, marriage courses and seniors socials.
HBC has significantly impacted the life of Heaton and the city of Newcastle for over 100 years but we feel there is more that God wants us to do. We had prophecies around Isaiah 54:1-8 about ‘stretching our tent’ and ‘church without walls’ which led us to rebuild our church halls. The Life Centre, completed around 3 years ago, is a fantastic building with a variety of office spaces, meeting and gathering rooms, which has transformed life at HBC and which we hope will continue to be attractive to the local community.
More recently prophecies such as Ezekiel 47, the river of healing flowing into the community from our worship, and the idea of a ‘ship ready for commissioning’ has led us to increase our desire for outreach and mission. We want to be more ambitious in our service for the Lord in Heaton, Newcastle and even regionally.
What are we?
- An Evangelical Church
- A Word and Spirit Church
- A Baptist Church
- A Church with a Mission
What unites and excites us as a church is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and raised according to the Scriptures. Our faith is formed and fed by the Bible as a whole, which finds its focus in Jesus. We are committed to following the Bible’s teaching as disciples of Jesus and we willingly accept everyone on the same basis as Christ’s acceptance of us.
We value the Bible as God’s word and encourage each member to grow in understanding of His word through our sermons, annual Life Courses, discussion type evenings and Lifegroups. We also value the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit and encourage hearing from God directly and encourage receiving and growing in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We are part the Baptist Union and Northern Baptist Association, Evangelical Alliance and have links with New Wine and Fresh Streams as well as strong links with other Bible-based churches from different denominations around Newcastle. The leaders are conscious that they are accountable to the Lord for the care of the church, however, and so aim to be open and responsive to the rest of the congregation. Bi-monthly church meetings encourage the membership to seek guidance from the Lord in the running of the life of the church. We have an open membership policy, which encourages full immersion baptism but acknowledges the individual journey that people may be on with the Lord.
Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples of all nations. We have a primary commitment to reach out to the community around us in Heaton, but we have active mission partnerships with people around the world including regular links with China. Romania, Kosovo and Albania. We encourage everyone in the church to be active in sharing the faith of the Gospel with neighbours and colleagues, friends and family, their ‘circles of influence’. Our Associate Minister has a primary focus to equip and enable the church to reach out and be relevant to the community by spearheading and overseeing its mission and evangelism.
What is important to the Church?
Although we value having Ministers as a gift from God, the church is encourages ‘a priesthood of believers’, that is for all to take ownership of our journey with God. We believe in shared leadership, with the Ministers as part of a leadership team. We try to encourage everyone to use the gifts given to us. We model shared ministry by having different people leading and taking part in services. We believe God has a positive role for women as well as men in service and in leadership.