Burlington Baptist Church | Christian Vocations

Burlington Baptist Church

Type: Church

Affiliations and accreditations

Burlington Baptist Church is a lively growing church with 240 members. Our buildings are located just off the town centre of Ipswich and people from across the town, and beyond, are a part of our community. Over the past 5 years we have been developing our vision of missional living: of being both a gathered and scattered community as we have launched a number of missional communities.

A few snap shots about us:

  • We are committed to our purpose of reaching people for Jesus and seeing them become fully devoted followers of Him
  • We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and we seek to live under its authority
  • We long to see God work in and through our lives in ever increasing measure, believing that everyone has a part to play
  • We see discipleship as the task and responsibility of every Christian.  We are all being discipled and we are all disciplers
  • We recognise that discipleship and mission is most effective within mid-sized communities living as extended families
  • We seek to be a supportive and caring whole church family that encourages and challenges us to follow Jesus more closely.


Recent History and developments

Our current senior minister, Simon Harris, joined the staff in 1995 as our assistant minster and became our senior minister in 1998.  Simon is an accredited minister with the Baptist Union of Great Britain (http://www.baptist.org.uk/).  During this time we have seen the church develop a much more open, contemporary style. Having spent many years establishing a strong centre and emphasizing the gathered church we sensed God calling us into a new season.  And so in the Autumn of 2010 Simon spent his sabbatical exploring missional communities: mid-sized groups within a church focussed around a missional vision and sharing community life together (http://www.missionalcommunities.co.uk/).  We now have a strong emphasis on UP, IN and OUT.  UP: our personal relationships with God.  OUT: our missional living.  IN: family focused communities of believers centred around a joint mission.   This new season has a fresh emphasis on being dispersed through a network of missional communities.  During these recent years we have benefited from the insights of 3dm (https://3dmeurope.com).

Our Sunday celebrations continue with a strong emphasis on worship and preaching that challenges and encourages.  This has resulted in a church community that is now spread across the ages and economic backgrounds, all with a strong family base.      

In recent years we have seen the emerging of 9 missional communities and we have seen a steady number coming to faith and being baptised.  6 missional communities have become steady and sustainable.  Additionally we have a host of other ministries including a strong children and youth ministry.  Other ministries include small groups, Women’s Fellowship, an older friends lunch club, Tiddlywinks (parents and toddler), and more besides.  Support and development of ministries like these in becoming communities of mission and discipleship rather than static events is a key aim for us as a church.

Additionally we have a men’s prayer gathering, a prayer ministry team, an emerging prophetic ministry, times of prayer and fasting, a 24/7 prayer room (periodically).   We have also opened a night-shelter for the homeless in the winter months, shared with other churches.


Staff and key volunteers

In addition to our senior minister, other paid staff include a part time Minister, a part time Youth Team Leader, a Finance Manager, PA to senior minister, Room hire coordinator and a number of Cleaners. We are currently looking to fill the full time role of Operations Manager.

Our senior minister is joined by some of the above and several part-time volunteers to form our Ministry Team.  These additional volunteers give significant time to the life of the church and take responsibility for key areas of ministry:

  • Pastoral & Prayer Team Leaders
  • Children’s Team Leader

Additionally, other volunteers take on significant areas of responsibility too.  Notably:

  • Church Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Trustees

We are an unincorporated charity managed by a team of volunteer trustees led by the senior minister.


Our Membership and Church Community demographic

We have 240 members.  We review the membership every three years. We have around 50 children (0-11yrs) and 45 young people (12-18) as part of our regular community.


Our Buildings

We have three large buildings

  • An original church building now predominantly rented out for community use.  This building also has our youth rooms
  • The church sanctuary, a typical Victorian church building


Our Finances and Administration

Under the leadership of our Treasurer we have a team of people who administer our finances including a paid part-time finance manager. For the year ending October 2014 our unrestricted income was over £222,700 including £18,000 from room rental income. Our income is spent on salaries, costs directly associated with ministry and the running costs and maintenance of church buildings.  We also give away 15% of our budget to support mission work in the UK and abroad. In 2015 we paid off loans taken out to build our church centre, ahead of schedule and are beginning to think about a church sanctuary refurbishment.


Related links

Website - http://www.burlingtonbaptist.org.uk.

Senior Minister’s blog - http://simonharriswrites.wordpress.com/