Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | June 2, 2019

The Strong Word – June 2019


A friend of mine was emailed the other day by his boss asking a simple question, “Why did you fill your company car up with petrol on a Sunday?” My friend’s response was blunt, pointing out he had an early start on Monday, and as he is not as young as he was, pushing the company car down the M11 is not as easy for him these days, he finds a tank of petrol to be so much better!

For me such a story sums up the message of Pentecost, a Christian festival we celebrate this year on Sunday 9th June. We are reminded of the day the early church received God’s Spirit for the first time. The disciples were warned to wait in Jerusalem for the spirit to arrive, and not go out on their own without the Spirit. They would not be safe in the world or as effective if they did not have God’s Spirit.

We are not called to push, pull or carry the church, though sometimes it can feel like it! We are called instead, like the early disciples, to be filled with the Spirit, even though we can leak like a colander, we can and must seek God’s Spirit to do God’s work. Because we need the power and protection the Spirit offers to us, we also need the fellowship with God that prevents us from ever feeling alone, and the confidence that comes from knowing we are doing his will.

I was out and about last Autumn, when I noticed a group of people struggling to push the family car down the main road, the youngest and smallest of them was doing the steering, obviously made sense. It looked hard work and many were overtaking, and smiling at them!

I do hope we never find ourselves in that position at Carey, trying to keep the church on the move with our own ideas, strength and resources and for others to be smiling at us! Let us ask God for his spirit, his presence and his power, the God who answers such prayers. See in Luke 11, after the parable of the man going to his friend at midnight for some food, Jesus says, we should Ask, Seek and Knock, for God will certainly give his Holy Spirit to those who ask.

Especially now we have heard from Colin Pye, may we have the power and presence of the spirit amongst us on Pentecost Sunday and every day at Carey. May the Lord bless us indeed with the presence and the wisdom of his Spirit.

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | May 3, 2019

The Strong Word – May 2019


As Christians we live in the light of the blessing of the resurrection of Jesus. No longer is Jesus limited to one place but is available as Lord and friend to all 8 billion people alive today, in every place on the earth. (Even on the moon or Mars should you choose to go there!)

This is a miracle indeed, Jesus has conquered death and now walks with us and talks with us along life’s narrow way, so the chorus tells us! He has done his bit, the heavy lifting, and given his life as a sacrifice for our sin. He calls us to respond, to believe and trust in him.

This quarter’s magazine from Operation Agri has a note from a young person who struggles with the pressure of exams in early summer. She quotes the verse from Proverbs 3.5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding… and he will make your paths strait.”

It is a verse we have mentioned before. The student goes on to remind us of the value of such a promise. She may not know or understand, but she can trust in the God who conquers sin and death. She will believe in his love and goodness for the small as well as the big issues in life, to discover by sheer experience, a trust in the Lord that does work for our best interests. He is the one who makes all things work together for good for those who love and trust in him.

Surely this is what putting the truth of the resurrection into practice involves, allowing God to be God, abandoning our life and times to him, confident he will lead, guide and make things work for our ultimate good and his everlasting purpose. It is certainly not easy and does not just “happen”, but it is a daily exercise we must do if we are to live the victorious lives promised in his word.

We often take on new activities and eating habits to improve our physical health, why would we not lean, rely and trust in God as spiritual exercises to increase our faith, hope and trust in him? We will see our spiritual lives change shape for the better just as those who join weightwatchers see a change. Like any slimmer others will also note the change! They will comment and perhaps even be a little bit jealous!

The truth of Easter is for us and for everyday, may it be so in us.


Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | April 1, 2019

The Strong Word – April 2019


A few years ago, in the 1960’s, a scientist called Stephen Morrison became quite annoyed with the Christian Church particularly its confidence over the Resurrection of Jesus.

Morrison decided to conduct a thorough scientific investigation of the resurrection stories, to prove once and for all the Christian faith is a sham. If he could disprove the Easter story, he would cause the whole Christian message to unravel. He felt he would have done the human race a great favour!

So he began his investigation, looking at issues like who could have moved the stone in front of the tomb and looked at the disciples with their new found confidence after Easter Sunday, with all the risks they took in the Acts of the Apostles preaching the good news of Jesus rising from the dead, and forgiving sin.

Instead of proving the Bible was wrong he ended up believing it, becoming a Christian himself, the evidence he amassed was too great to deny the resurrection was true. Morrison called his book “Who moved the Stone” because he came to see that the only reasonable explanation of all that happened on the first Easter Sunday and beyond is that it is all indeed true!

As I say he became a Christian, joined the church and never found any reason over the rest of his life to disprove his conclusions. He had what we would call a relationship with Jesus himself.

As we come to Easter this year, read again the stories of Holy Week, the events of Good Friday and Easter Day, as we follow through with the resurrection appearances, we owe it to ourselves to seriously consider the truth or otherwise of such accounts.

We can then discount it all as rubbish, go our own way, making up our own beliefs as we see fit, OR we must believe it which puts us in the position of having to act accordingly by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, following and serving him all our days as did Stephen Morrison.

I believe the story of Easter as set out in the Gospels. Do you?


Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | February 28, 2019

The Strong Word – March 2019


We are about to enter the 40 days of Lent, on the 6th of March. For Many Christians this is a time of serious reflection and a time of personal austerity. If you enter a Catholic or High Anglican church during the Lent season all Icons will be covered up and the church will look quite austere!

Many Christians will eat less meat, drink less, miss meals and pray more.

They will aim to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as he moves towards Good Friday, seeking to serve rather than be served, and listening more to the quiet voice of God.

For us Baptists, we have not been as strict over the Lent season as others. Often it is Pancake Tuesday we celebrate then pay little attention to the season until Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday.

A Bible verse that I think sums up Lent for the busy world of 2019 is found in Mark 8v34, when Jesus is considering the ultimate sacrifice he is going to have to make.

Jesus says:-

“If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it and whoever loses their life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will save it, what good is it to gain the whole world but forfeit ones soul?”

I think this puts Lent in context as we consider once again what is truly important and where our real values lie. I think it does take the full 40 days to come to terms with such words and to apply them in our lives.

Maybe one of the house groups held this month might help us be more serious in our thinking and praying?

May God Bless us as we follow Jesus, not the world!


Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | February 16, 2019

The Strong Word – February 2019


Firstly a belated happy New Year to all readers of Carey News!

I suppose any New Year resolutions we made are well behind us by now! After all it is February and they reckon by the 3rd week in January most give up on their high hopes of less drink, less food and more exercise or are you one of the good ones?

It is the time of year when many consider a wider detox, a spring clean of homes and garages. I was reading of a number of people who have had an enforced “detox” over the New Year. Over 100 people lost all their possessions in a fire in a storage unit in South London.

Helen Chandler-White was one such person, when she could no longer afford her house. Helen put everything into storage, keeping just a few clothes to wear until she could get sorted. She went to live with mum and dad, but on 31st December 2018 the storage unit burnt down, everything went. Everything!

She speaks for many when she says she is totally shocked and realises how her stuff, her things, including many childhood trinkets and old school things, family heirlooms and the like, give her an identity. She feels they make up who she is. With just a few clothes to her name she has to start again. It has been traumatic. Much cannot be replaced, only a small amount of her stuff was insured, but insurance cannot bring back a memento. She says she feels less of a person.

But Scripture tells us we are worth more than our possessions, our lives are what has value to God not our “stuff” or the extent of who we are and what we own. Matthew 6 v25 tells us our life is more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Jesus reminds us we should not let worry and concern about such things cause us undue stress. God is our Father and he really does care for us as much as he cares for the birds of the air, do we not pray – give us this day our daily bread?

I hope as we continue our journey through 2019 we shall renew our confidence in our heavenly Father, and put our trust in him for the known and unknown cares and issues we may face. He promised:- “I am with you, even to the end of the age”, may we know that is true as we experience and know his grace and mercy in our lives and families. Perhaps we will even be able to manage with a bit less stuff too!


Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | November 3, 2018

The Strong Word – November 2018


It is November, it is 2018 – we must remember. One hundred years have passed since the War to end all Wars finally finished, after four long, difficult years for many in Europe and beyond.

Like you, I was not present 100 years ago, but I have heard stories from those who were. The TV has also been busy telling us more tales of heroism and sadness.

I may not have been present during the 1939-45 War, but again I have heard stories from parents and grandparents and seen the results of warfare. There were bombed out buildings in Birmingham right into the1960’s, and I remember in 1965 going to see the new Coventry Cathedral. Then entering into the shell of the old Cathedral and imagining the destruction that must have come upon that whole city as bombs dropped from above.

It is good the destroyed Cathedral remains for all to see and for all to remember. But I do ask myself how could this be? It was all only a few years ago, in familiar places, and from people who were our near neighbours.

The danger is when we do not remember, when we do not pass on the stories and so open the way for it to all happen again. But we must acknowledge War remains a familiar experience for many in the 21st Century and that should not be so.

Jesus always told us not to hate our brother (or sister) and to love our enemies. It is not easy we need His help to do so. We must each be channels of peace so that war remains in the past for as many people as possible in 2018.

Is this the sort of prayer we should pray?

Loving God, you sent your Son to bring your peace to the world. Help us to work for your peace in our home, our schools, our towns and our world. Protect, we ask, all who experience War and the effects of War. We pray for protection for those sent to war zones and we ask Lord that those families whose loved ones have been lost to War may know your consolation and your peace, a peace that passes understanding. We pray our prayers though Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and who is our Lord and Saviour. Amen.


Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | October 30, 2018

Rev Brian Barker, 1931 – 2018

This tribute to Brian is published in the November 2018 edition of the Carey Newsletter and is adapted from the Minister’s tribute at the Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Rev Brian Barker, Minister at Carey from 1962 – 1970.





At Brian’s funeral recently, his son, Tim, started off the eulogy for his Dad with this famous Monty Python saying from ‘The Life of Brian’ which summed Brian up.

Whilst visiting Brian not long before his passing he was in good spirits and looking at the world in a positive light as we reminisced about the years past. It was always good to meet Brian wherever he was, at home, in hospital or in Church.

Brian is part of Carey’s history, supporting the Church right up to his passing, he was also a significant part of my teenage years at Carey. After leaving the ministry Brian led the Junior Church Senior group here at Carey. We would meet at his home in Park Avenue to discuss a variety of subjects before moving down to the Church to be part of the Morning Worship.

Brian was born in 1931 in Catford, south‑east London, second son of Gladys and Douglas Barker. At the outbreak of war he was evacuated to Reigate in Surrey.

Educated at St. Dunstan’s College in Catford (a future Bishop of Durham was the head boy when he first went there) to Matriculated (G.C.S.E.) and Higher Schools (A‑level) standard before obtaining a place at Cambridge to read Chemistry.

In 1947 Brian came in contact with a local Baptist Church and was baptised, becoming a member the next year. Brian served his National Service during which time he felt a call to enter the Ministry so in 1953 he spurned Cambridge to enter Spurgeon’s College in London.

Ordained in July 1957 and married to Jean the next day, he was called to his first Church at Stourport‑on‑Severn in Worcestershire where the birth of sons Jeremy (1959) and Timothy (1961) followed. He moved to Carey in December 1962 and was Inducted on a frosty evening in January 1963.

During 1967 came great change, his daughter Helen was born and he joined the staff of Kettering Grammar School, to teach Greek, Latin and Religious Studies, whilst maintaining a Sunday Ministry and some pastoral work during the week.

In 1970, he left the Ministry to continue his teaching but he continued to support and work for Carey, running the Junior Church class for the young people at his house in Park Avenue before all moving down to join the church for the last part of the service.


Brian retired from education and in 1989 took up a position of Secretary of the Northants Baptist Association working for Baptists in the area from his new home at Martha Wallis Court where Janet was the warden.

He had married Janet a few years earlier and they enjoyed 33 years of happy marriage.

They retired in the mid 90’s to live in Moulton and attended the Carey Baptist Church in the village but Brian continued to preach around the Association serving the 62 county churches for 7 years. He also spent a lot of time on the team Ministry at the Ecumenical project (Danesholme) in Corby.

In more recent times increasing difficulty in driving meant Brian wanted to be closer to family so they moved back to Kettering and they became members of Burton Latimer Baptist Church where he served as Moderator during their interregnum.

He struggled with mobility even more and bought a mobility scooter and was able to get to Sunday services at Carey or Rockingham Road. Preaching also became a struggle but he did preach on 5th July 2017 to celebrate 60 years since his ordination, which was quite an achievement.


Brian is now at Peace and we continue to offer support and prayers for Janet, his children and the wider family too.

A good friend, sadly missed, goodnight Brian and God Bless.

Keith Mitchell

Church Secretary



Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | October 7, 2018

The Strong Word – October 2018


Have you ever stood on the top of Rockingham Castle on the top of Rockingham Hill? (Webmaster’s note – for those from outside the wonderful county of Spires & Squires – Northamptonshire – Rockingham Castle sits on a hill overlooking the Welland Valley between Northamptonshire & Rutland) It is an incredible view! They say you can see 19 church spires on a clear day! One can see for miles. During the last 1,000 years occupants must have felt safe as they looked across the valley, seeing clearly any would be attackers.

Hills do appear to offer a security that valleys don’t have. Until quite recently, when technology has taken over, hills provided the opportunity to see further and defend easier.

But Psalm 121 reminds us, as it begins with the question:- “I look to the hills, but where does my help come from?” It then answers its own question by saying simply:-“my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, he does not slumber nor sleep, he watches over us by night and by day….”

As we read the magazine this month one of our members, Darren Tecklenberg, is walking up the foothills of the Himalayas to Everest base Camp, situated 18,500 feet above sea level, over four times higher than Ben Nevis. He will no doubt have Everest in his view, and will be both looking up to the impressive mountain as well as down to the valleys.

We must pray he has a safe journey up and down, and that he receives a blessing from God as he discovers the Lord in the valleys as well as in the mountains. Psalm 139 reminds us that there is nowhere we can go, the highest heavens or the deepest depths, that are away from the presence of God. In recent time we realise this applies even on the Moon! While Psalm 23 reminds us that even in the valley of the shadow of death we shall fear no evil for the Lord is with us.

This is good news, whether we are walking in the Himalayas, the Scottish mountains or in the streets of Kettering, the Lord is with us. We do not need the false protection of the material strength that appears to come from worldly, human strength but we must rely, in faith, on him, who has blessed us in the past and will, if we trust in him, bless and lead us in the future.

May the Lord bless us all as we travel through the rest of 2018, wherever we are!

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | August 4, 2018

The Strong Word – August 2018

I almost forgot to write this! It is the first August newsletter we have had at Carey since I arrived in 2005. I am told there will be one in September too, so we are doing well this year! But a lot has been happening so it is a shame if we cannot enjoy reading and seeing pictures of all our recent events. Perhaps the most memorable was the celebration of Joan Carnell’s life. She is featured in this edition in shortened version of the tributes paid to her.

It was the sheer number of people who came, (around 350) with all seats filled and 20 or so standing at the back! Where did they all park? But it was good to share in what she had done over the years, working with so many in both paid and unpaid work. She worked hard amongst us with a smile on her face and in her usual cheery way. If you were there I am sure you will also remember, especially the singing and “The Sound Sensation” choir who sang in honour of her time with them.

Joan made so many friends and she made a difference to many lives. She is in a sense a role model for us all. To use the time we have on this earth well and wisely. She was always doing something, the most recent being the coffee mornings raising monies for her charities, filling the church with her friends at the same time.

I found myself considering the story of Jesus in Matthew 25 of the servants given 5, 2 and 1 talent. The one who is criticised by Jesus is the one who buried his talent in the ground and refused to use it. He had it taken from him.

Joan certainly used her talent in life, and my question to myself is this:- How do I use the gift/talent the Lord has given me? I may not be able to sing like Joan!! But I do have something from the Lord. What is your talent or gift? How are you using it? What will be said at our funerals about our lives? The service for Joan helps us focus on such important issues and make changes while there is still time.



Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | July 1, 2018

The Strong Word – July 2018


In some senses it seems impossible that the nights are so much lighter and the days so much warmer than when we had the ‘Beast from the East’ just a few weeks ago when it was so cold and wet! I still have my coat handy just in case!

One memory that stands out is the number of people who said they loved the snow because it meant they did not have to go out and could take a more leisurely day rather than the usual rush. No one expects anything from you in the snow! We had three Sundays between 10th December and the end of March when the service was so much smaller and only those who could walk to Carey, came.

We are now entering into the summer season, the traditional holiday season. But Factory Fortnight is a thing of the past for most, when the town virtually closed down and many moved to Skeggy or Hunstanton for a week or two! Many do not take their holiday in the summer and life goes on the same. Some cannot, I know, afford to go away.

But I do encourage us all to take some time out.

The most familiar Psalm tells us:- The Lord is my Shepherd, He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside quiet waters, He restores our souls…” We do need our souls restored, do we not? We must stop. “He makes us” is a powerful verse. We must make space to do things differently, be free of duties for a while. Maybe if we are not going away to the countryside or the coast we might choose to visit another church one Sunday? Do things a bit different?

We all live 24/7 lives, never far from our phones, our work, or our church duties. These things can weigh on us, if we do not take the appropriate rest.

Perhaps you are someone who is pleased to keep the 10 Commandments, not Stealing, Killing, Coveting and the like. One of the commandments is to:- Keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to work. We may not be able to stop work on a Sunday but we must, for the sake of our mental and physical health allow ourselves one in 7 days when we do stop and life is different, duties set aside. We can do ourselves irreparable damage if we do not.

Surely we will not wait for the snow to come again before we take that much needed break? May the Lord Bless us over the summer season.


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