Thorpe-le-Soken is a small village in north-east Essex not far from Frinton-on-Sea. Thorpe-le-Soken Baptist Church was established in 1802 and the listed chapel building is set back from the road in its own grounds. It had a full refurbishment in 2005 making it more suited to today’s needs whilst retaining its character. The small fellowship of about 20 who meet each Sunday has been led for the past few years by retired minister Revd Steve Woolley who stepped down from that role in July.
For a small church with a largely elderly membership there is a lot happening. There is a very popular “Jungle Club” Mums and tots group which meets every week and a monthly Messy church on a Wednesday afternoon with over 30 attending. Both events provide strong links to families and the wider community in the village. On the Sunday following Messy church there is an all-age service. There is a monthly coffee morning with a book and card sale and a fortnightly home group.
While the church is growing — membership is up 50% in the past couple of years — there is now a challenge of how the church can evolve and grow. Without a pastor of its own the church is exploring closer links with nearby Frinton Free Church about how they might help by providing practical support and the leadership of Sunday services. The church at Thorpe-le-Soken are facing a big challenge for their future without a pastor and also with a key leader stepping down because of health issues. They seek guidance and God’s leading as they approach a new era in the life of the church.
Please pray for:
• God’s leading with the direction for the future
• For the developing relationship with nearby Frinton Free Church
• That those who come to the Jungle Club and Messy Church with their children might come to a faith in Jesus
• People to come forward to step up to new roles and take on responsibilities.