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Church to be a hub to meet needs of the community

Sue Hensby and husband and Ross Dean and wife Sue and Arnie Hensby who are taking over wiith Ross and Annette Dean
Sue Hensby and husband and Ross Dean and wife Sue and Arnie Hensby who are taking over wiith Ross and Annette Dean

Sutton St James will have new Baptist Church leaders from October 8 after Pastor Ross Dean and wife Annette bow out.

Ross and Annette will continue to lead Fleet Baptist Church, while the new pastor in Sutton St James, Sue Hensby, begins her ministry supported by husband Arnie.

Sue and Arnie, who moved to Tydd Fen two years ago, are getting to know their community and finding out how best the church can serve their needs.

Sue says there is no question of this being “a new broom sweeping in” to bring change for the sake of it – she wants the villagers themselves to suggest how the church might develop, which could include things like specialist advice sessions.

The congregation is tiny with only three people attending Sunday services, but around 22 people go to Thursday coffee mornings and up to 45 people meet there on the last Thursday of the month for a community lunch.

Coffee mornings and lunches will continue as before.

Sue said: “We are really excited about wanting to eventually make the church a hub for the village, where people can drop in for a coffee or advice, but for now we just want a period of stability where we get to know the village.”

A service to commission Sue and Arnie into leadership and to acknowledge the departure of Ross and Annette takes place on Sunday, October 8, starting at 10.45am.

A further service will be held on Sunday, October 14, starting at 3pm, to celebrate the 15 years of faithful service given by Ross and Annette to Sutton St James Baptist Church.

Sue said Ross saved the church from closure by stepping in when the last pastor left.

Sue was a member of an independent church in Milton Keynes before becoming involved in the Light Project in Chester.

She did a three-year foundation degree in theology and evangelism through the University of Chester and is now building on that with a graduate and post-graduate diploma in theology and missions through Durham University as well as embarking on her formal ministerial training.

Sue and Arnie used to work for BT and were previously members of Peterborough’s Park Baptist Church. Arnie remains a trustee with the Peterborough Light Project, which has a strong community focus.


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