Basingstoke Christians committed themselves to unity in mission at the 2019 Unity Service held at The Salvation Army in Wessex Close.
A Capacity Congregation
Over 180 people joined together to worship God and to commit to unity amongst Basingstoke Christians. Encouraged to relax by meeting leader, Lieutenant Rob Westwood-Payne of The Salvation Army, it was immediately clear the congregation were united in spirit as, accompanied by The Salvation Army band, they sang William Booth’s words:
O God of burning, cleansing flame, Send the Fire!
Unity was Front and Centre
The theme of unity continued as Fan the Flame worship group (The Salvation Army) led the congregation in For I’m Building a People of Power and O Church arise, and put your armour on. The singing really was awe-inspiring!
Jesus’ Prayer for Unity
Pastor Will Ross, Chair of OneChurch Basingstoke and pastor of Buckskin Evangelical Church preached on the theme, That They May Be One, based on John 17:20-26.
He encouraged us to be in Christ. To be in love with Jesus. He challenged us to ensure we are working to tear down the walls between Christians in the town. Jesus prayed we would be one. He pointed out Jesus prayed for our unity so we could be stronger together in mission.
He challenged us by saying we have the Good News for the people of Basingstoke and for the whole world. Our unity advertises how beautiful it is to be a follower of Jesus. Will we answer Jesus’ prayer and be one?
You can listen to Will’s sermon below:
Following that challenge, Reverend Dave Bishop of Basingstoke Baptist Church led the congregation through a Commitment to Unity, cemented by the congregation as they sang, Lord of the Church, we pray for our renewing.
Music and Prayer
Music was provided by The Salvation Army Band, who played the hymn tune arrangement, Penlan (“In heavenly love abiding) and The Salvation Army Songsters, who sang a beautiful arrangement of Then Sings My Soul.
Prayers of Repentance were offered by Reverend Jonathan Clark (Christ Church, Chineham); Prayers of Intercession by Reverend Kay Blackwell (United Reformed Church) and Prayers for our New Leaders by Reverend Trevor Woodget (on behalf of the OneChurch Basingstoke Leadership Team).
Basingstoke Christians: Stronger Together
As the congregation prepared to go back out into the mission field of Basingstoke and beyond, they went singing, “I’ll go in the strength of the Lord”. And they went, more determined than ever that Basingstoke Christians would be stronger together.