Category Archives: Fryerns Baptist Church

Easter at Fryerns Baptist Church

All seems to be almost set for Resurrection Sunday. Posters and leaflets will soon be proclaiming the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour.

As the seasons change and Spring slowly creeps in with warm lovely sunshine and milder temperatures so will the enthusiasm to glorify God for isn’t man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever?

If you are wondering what Resurrection Sunday or Easter is all about – why don’t you come along and find out!

Grace Baptist Mission annual mission’s day 2014


Grace Baptist Missions Annual Mission's Day 2014 Grace Baptist Mission’s annual mission’s day on 25th Oct 2014:
The 2014 missions day was held in Euston, Central London at the large and elegant Friends House. Above is a panoramic photograph of the large auditorium just before it got filled to capacity as Christians from all over England came to hear of missionary endeavors. Despite saddening news from the Middle East of civil unrest and extreme violence towards Christians, there were exciting reports of new believers still coming to faith in Christ in lands far beyond the shores of the British isles that warmed our hearts. However the immense challenge of many more yet who have not even heard the gospel still remains a looming need. There is still a lot of work to be done in the fields and there are great needs to be prayed for. Here are some of the prayer requests and below are a few photos from the mission day:

  • GMB Mission Coordinator exhorted and reminded believers with a message from Col 1:6 where Paul encourages us with the truth that ‘all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing’.
  • Missionary to Poland: Andrzej Kempczynski reported how catechism was solidifying discipleship; however requests prayer for helpers in church work, good health and more conversions.
  • GBM radio prayer requests for contacts in Ebola affected areas. Pray that the radio programmes will help pastors out in remote parts who do not have easy access to Bibles or Bible study material.
  • Missionary to Brazil:Jason Murfitt reported of converts in Amazonian basins and creeks among people groups who were once cannibals; however requests prayer for more field workers and wisdom in reaching many more people through the creek and river evangelism outreaches.
  • Missionaries to Kenya: Graham and Sally Jones request prayers as they consider evangelising highland areas and for more missionaries. The rousing prayer cry from Nairobi seems to be ‘come over and help us’.
  • Missionaries to China: Some good progress as interest in gospel and bible study takes root.
  • Missionary from Paris, France: Hannah Prior ministers among women leading Biblestudies; requested prayers for lasting fruit among students and young people from around the world who have come to hear the gospel while in Paris.

May God make more churches sending churches; a church that sends or supports a missionary makes an immense investment in the kingdom of God.

We look forward to the next GBM Annual Missions day in October 2015 when all roads will lead to Solihull, Birmingham if the Lord tarries.

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The Mural at Fryerns Baptist Church

As you enter the front gates of Fryerns Baptist Church you will be greeted by an exquisitely beautiful mural. The mural which is a piece of eye catching artwork depicts events of historical and theological importance to the church itself.

Fryerns Baptist Church Entrance
Fryerns Baptist Church Entrance

Fryerns Baptist Church was opened on the 21st November 1953. The first and founding minister was Pastor Charles B. Phillimore. The church was founded by The Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches (later named renamed Association of Grace Churches South East A.S.B.C.S.E) and the National Federation of Strict Baptist Churches.The land purchase to erect a church in Basildon district was after two churches in London were burnt down. A bungalow was erected initially as the first building which was later followed by the church building. With renewed zeal for evangelism and a desire to reach Basildon with the gospel there were persistent gospel mission outreaches into the community.

As a Reformed Baptist Church subscribes to the doctrines of grace and adopts as a general summary of faith the following Strict Baptist Affirmation of faith 1689/ 1966. (See hereBeing Reformed and also Baptist by conviction the mural depicts a few men and women who stand in a long line of godly men who have gone before us.

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The Mural, was painted in 1954 by Lewis Lupton, and it depicts the birth and growth of the Strict Baptist or Reformed Baptist denomination. The denomination is depicted as a central tree, its knarled old trunk indicating trials and difficulties during its growth. The tree has its roots in the Bible, one page of the Old Testament and one of the New. At the top of the mural is a sketch of John Bunyan baptising Agnes Beaufort by immersion in a mill stream.
The communion table with linked hands represents fellowship and unity of East and West in Christ and above is a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The Center:

The central figure represents a portrait shown to the pilgrim in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress at the house of the interpreter “ a man with eyes lifted up to heaven, the book of books in his hand, the law of truth written upon his lips standing before the world as if pleading with men”.
He symbolises the preacher who tells of the love of God and proclaims the Good News. As a result of the work of the preacher the tree grew and so has branches.

Area I
Hymns – Hymns were introduced in 1691 by Benjamin Keach who wrote a book about hymn singing supporting his argument with scripture. At first they only sang one hymn at the conclusion of the Communion service. Eventually after a period of 14 years they commenced singing every Sunday but only after the sermon. As shown in the mural at first they sang unaccompanied using a tuning fork to pitch the note. Then they started using a violin and eventually moved on to the organ or as one early critic termed it “a fearsome engine of music”, which subsequently became the recognised instrument for use in chapels.

Area II
Preaching in the chapels increased the numbers of believers and the church grew.

Area III
Stands for theology and theologians, professors of doctrine, who taught what they believed the Bible said and codified what they believed was a correct interpretation of Scripture.
The bust is of William Kiffin a member of the first Baptist cause in London, date on the cup 1633. Another, Gifford lived in Bristol but attended the chapel in Devizes, Wiltshire and thirdly Dr Gill a Scotsman who had come to live in London.

Area IV
Depicts missionary endeavour and the early taking of the gospel across the oceans to other lands.
William Carey a Northamptonshire cobbler saw the need of people in India and felt it was God’s will for him to go there. He was turned down as a candidate but was so convinced about God’s call that he founded the Baptist Missionary Society and went as their first missionary to India in 1793. He learnt many languages and translated much of the Bible, he also complied some dictionaries to help other missionaries. He was Professor of Oriental Languages at Fort William College Calcutta for 30 years. The top picture is of Strict Baptist missionary to India Dr Ruth Harris doing her rounds on a piebald horse. When the mural was painted in 1954, she was still in active service on the mission field.

Area V
The struggle for thought and Freedom of Worship.

  • Agnes Snoth was burnt at the stake on the 31st January 1556 at Smarden in Kent for refusing to confess to a priest on the grounds that it was contrary to the scriptures. She was the last Baptist to be burnt for her faith in England.
  • John Calvin represents the Reformers ie: those who protested against the domination of the Roman Catholic Church and the restrictions of religious expression.
  • The Mayflower in which many Baptist as well as others fled to the newly discovered America in search of freedom of worship.
  • The Puritans who whilst wanting freedom of religion rigorously practiced their own interpretation of the Bible.
  • Many ordinary people were put in prison for their faith, indeed one of the first Baptist congregations was formed in prison in London.
  • Slavery is included because the first petition against slavery was drawn up by a Strict Baptist and although it was not successful it paved the way for William Wilberforce to fight for the liberation of slaves in parliament. The picture of chains falling off also symbolises the experience of salvation, in the words of the hymn writer “my chains fell off, My heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee”
  • The following chapels and events  depicted in the mural:

1) 17th Century Guildford
2) 18th Century Hartney Wintney Hampshire
3) A mission hall in Chobham Surrey

4) Fryerns  5) The Strict Baptist Open-air Mission van which used to go out every Saturday.

(Look for all these depictions in the mural when you visit Fryerns Baptist Church)

Download Fryerns Baptist Church Mural leaflet

(Adapted from “The Sermon on the Mural” by Graham Phillimore delivered to the Fellowship of Youth at Fryerns Chapel on 31st December 1959.
Lewis Lupton stayed in the Manse (then in Holden Road) with the Phillimore family whilst working on the Mural in 1954.)

Trivia: Did you know that this mural was once almost completely lost in the 1990s when due to vandalism the front door was broken and the mural was splashed with unknown substances?  Well the mural was re-done by Malcolm Mackinnon and got a new coat of paint to meticulously restore it.

The history the mural depicts is a constant reminder to the current generation of the necessity of the gospel in Basildon and the need to always keep praying that God would send us as his labourers for the fields are ready for harvest.

We pray that we may come to see and know God’s blessing in our time.