Posted on 14 July 2010

During the last year or so, Rev. Dr. Stephen Dray and the leaders of Ferndale Baptist Church have been subject to a succession of allegations that have included correspondence sent to the Charity Commission, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Eastern Baptist Association, the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) and various charitable agencies as well as widely circulated written and verbal comments.

Happily, it is now possible to report that thorough, wide-ranging, investigations into these allegations by such agencies and others, including the BUGB, have taken place and they have, variously, concluded they cannot be substantiated.  Sad to say, this demonstrates what damage can be done to the life and witness of a local church and the advance of the kingdom when pastoral rupture can lead to less than helpful activity by those who part from fellowship.

Meanwhile, the fellowship is grateful to God for many recent encouragements. The heating system in the Church has been fully renovated and work planned to bring the electrical and heating provision in the Church Hall up to contemporary standards. The Manse has been fully refurbished and now has a new tenant in place. The finances of the Church have been placed on a secure footing, a new Leadership team is in place and the Internet Café in Cluny Square has been opened, is profitable and has been featured in local and national press and on Radio Essex. Our relationship with our twin-church in Sopot has been re-enforced, Sarah Dawkins has been appointed to a staff post with the UCCF and Jon Delves is much restored in health and planning to return to us. The Church is united and has unanimously re-affirmed Stephen’s call to minister among them. New and exciting developments are in process and we hope to share these more widely soon.

All of which gives us great hope for the future which we will share with you as it unfolds.

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