“Serving God is one of the best things you can do with your life and there are many ways to carry out this calling. If you are a Christian aged between 18 and 30, might God be encouraging you to consider ordained ministry in the Church of England?”
Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

What is Step Forward?

A day for anyone aged 18 to 30 considering ordained ministry in the Church of England. There will be:
Time for worship, prayer and Bible study
An opportunity to find out what being ordained is really like – its highs and lows
Space to look at your own experience and what God might be calling you to in the future
The chance to discover how the selection process and ordination training programmes work

Who is it for?
Step Forward is for anyone aged 18 to 30 who is wondering whether God might be calling them to ordained ministry in the Church of England.

You may have already taken some steps down this route – or you may never have thought about it until now! Either way, the day will help you think, talk and pray through this question.

Booking at

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Join us in Lent to seek God’s guidance for the coming season
Wednesday 15th March, 8 – 9pm in church


The funeral of Mr Rowland Cowley OBE MBBS DO FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth will take place in St Barnabas Church on Friday 29th December at 2.30 pm. Family flowers only please. Donations for The Anglican Eye Clinic Jachie, if desired, in lieu of flowers. A collection box will be available at the church.

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There will Christmas crafts in the church on Christmas Eve, from 2 pm, ending with carols round the crib at 4 pm with the puppets. All welcome, children please bring an adult with you.


Our service of nine lessons and carols is next Sunday at 6.30 pm


We warmly welcome you to our services over Christmas.


Sunday 10th December

6.30 pm Contemporary Carol Service


Sunday 17th December

9.30 am Morning Praise

11.15 am Praise Together with children’s groups as usual

12.45 pm Lunch Together in the church hall

6.30 pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols


Christmas Eve Sunday 24th December

10.30 am Family Carol Service

2 pm Christmas crafts in church for all the family – children, please bring an adult with you

4 pm Carols round the crib

11.15 pm Midnight Communion


Christmas Day

9.30 am Holy Communion

10.30 am Family Service


Sunday 31st December

9.30 am Holy Communion

11.15 am All Age Communion

No evening service


Contemporary Carols 2017

Join us for our contemporary carol service on Sunday 10th December at 6.30 pm. An informal service, with music, nibbles and something to think about. This is usually very popular, so come in good time to get a seat.

Holidays are coming

If you’ve never been to one of our family events in church before here’s what to expect;

You’ll greeted by our friendly team on the door, who will  take you to you table, and get you signed in. Each table will have a host, who will let you know what’s happening when. We’ll share a small Christmas dinner together (the first one of 2017?!) till about 6:15pm.

After that, we will continue sitting with the other families round the tables. We will do a Christmas craft together, as some leaders talk from the front about why taking the time to get ready for Christmas is important. Then we’ll make up christingles (oranges with candles, sweets and other goodies on), before all moving into the middle of the church to light them together.

We’ll finish at about 7:15pm with refreshments, with the evening ending at 7.30pm.

It’s going to be a great evening, we really hope you’ll be able to come along and join us.


There will be a concert on Saturday 25th November, 7 pm in church in celebration of our 125th anniversary. Various groups from the church will be displaying their musical talents. Admission free, all welcome.


As part of the process of finding a new vicar when Erik retires, we need to create a parish profile and it would be helpful to have some information about the congregation at St Barnabas. We would be grateful if you would fill in this questionnaire and put it in the box in the narthex by 26th November or fill it in online either here, or by using the box below. If there are any questions you prefer not to answer, please just leave them blank. Thank you.


Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, is leading a mission in Middlesbrough Deanery from 10th – 12th November. The Archbishop will be preaching at our family parade service on Sunday 12th November at 9.30 am. There are also various events over the weekend. Come along and bring a friend.

Men’s Breakfast at the Fork in the Road, Linthorpe Road on Saturday 11th November at 8.30 am. Tickets £5.
Women’s Breafast at the Fork in the Road, on Saturday 11th November at 8.30 am. Tickets £5. Speaker: Archdeacon of Cleveland, Sam Rushton.
Tea with the Archbishop, 2.30 pm in St Barnabas Church. Tickets £2.

Tickets are available from St Barnabas Church office or by email

Remembrance poppies

This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and there will a short act of remembrance between the two morning services at 10.50 am in church.


This year’s Craft Aid is on Saturday 18th November, 10 am – 2 pm. There will be stalls, coffee, lunches, crafts, music and trains. All welcome.
All the money raised will be put to good use in the work of the Eye Clinic in Jachie, a village close to the city of Kumasi in Ghana. The building was partly funded by St Barnabas Church and was opened in 2002. The staff saw approximately 23,000 patients in 2012. Money raised at Craft Aid will be used for medication, treatment and updating equipment.

Big Bash

On 10th November, BIG Kids and Middlesbrough Deanery are working to bring kids together (School years 3-6) from all over Middlesbrough to St Barnabas Church for a fun evening of rhythm with Archbishop Sentamu! We’re having a BISH, BASH, BOSH!
Tickets are limited so contact BIG KiDS on facebook @bigkidsboro if your interested in coming along.

Light party

We are having a light party on Tuesday 31st October, 6 – 7.30 pm. All children welcome, but make sure to bring an adult with you. Come along and enjoy crafts, music, food and fun.

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Erik writes in October’s Outlook:

The preacher and writer Tim Keller recently tweeted:
‘God doesn’t tell Moses, “Tell them, I am what you want.” He says, “Tell them, ‘I am what I am.’”
He also, in a paper outlining the changes that take place as a church grows, noted this:
‘The larger the church – the more planning and organization must go into events. More lead time is necessary to communicate well. A higher quality of production in general is expected in a larger church and therefore events cannot simply be just “thrown together.”’ – ‘The more high quality aesthetics must be present.’ – ‘The larger the church, the more the music becomes an attractor on its own.’
A consequence of this tendency is that the larger the church the more people may be inclined to relate to it as consumers, rather than as worshippers committed to a fellowship. They come along because they like the ambience and the music; they find the experience uplifting – entertaining even. But if they have ‘something better’ to do, or they would rather simply have a lie in, then they will give church a miss for that week. It isn’t commitment that gets them there, but consumer choice.
Such choice may be exercised in other ways too. For example, some may choose to attend services on some Sundays of the month and not others because the services on those other Sundays, ‘don’t suit them’.
And of course, the larger the church, the less those who attend will be missed. Their absence may not even be noticed in the same way as it would be in a smaller church, where everyone knows everyone else.
Statistics and anecdotal evidence would suggest that, in general in the UK, those who habitually attended church twice on a Sunday are more inclined now to attend once; those who attended three or four times a month attend two or three times and so on. This can partly be explained by the fact that more people have family who live in another part of the country and so weekends are spent elsewhere than in our home town. That is understandable. But how many attend church elsewhere when they are out of town on a Sunday?
The real concern here is not just what this makes church – a consumer choice – but what it makes us – consumers. Consumers who may not necessarily seek ‘the God we want’ (because we’re worth it?), but who will seek God when we want; when it suits us, when there is nothing more attractive on offer.
Some will cry that you don’t have to be in church to worship God. Indeed, Romans 12 says the whole of our lives should be an act of spiritual worship. But I would suggest that we are far more likely to worship God with our lives if we make a priority of gathering with his people to worship him on Sundays. Our Sunday priorities may reveal more about our life priorities than we are comfortable to acknowledge.
As sons and daughters of the living, ‘I am what I am’ God, we are called to much more than consumerism. Consumerism is essentially an individual pursuit. We are not isolated individuals, as Archdeacon Sam reminded us so powerfully recently. We are the body of Christ, and each of us is called to play our unique part in building up the body. We belong to one another and have a responsibility to each other. We thrive and flourish, not when we get everything we want, even the god we want, but when we are in right relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with each other.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul paints a wonderful picture of what the church should be. The late John Stott entitled his commentary on Ephesians, ‘God’s new Society’. We are God’s new society. Our life together should challenge the consumerism and individualism of Western culture. We do a great disservice to God and to our brothers and sisters in Christ when we make even our worship a consumer choice. That is not why Christ died, nor why he gives gifts to his church.
‘So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets,  the evangelists,  the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ Ephesians 4:11-13
God does not pander to our choices, but calls us to worship and equips us for service.

Messiah 2

As part of our 125th anniversary, there will be a performance of Handel’s Messiah on Saturday 28th October in church by a choir of church members and friends. Tickets are £5, available from Alistair Bolton and the church office or on the door.

Prophecy course 2.

Mondays from 7.30pm in the Reid Room

11th September – 30th October 2017

This autumn we are running The Prophecy Course. Using a mixture of interactive teaching, group discussion and opportunities to have a go for ourselves, The Prophecy Course is designed to help all people to hear from God and use the gifts of prophecy.

The Prophecy Course seeks to give “a solid, biblical foundation for their understanding of the prophetic” and provide people “with the confidence to step out and use the gift of prophecy.”

The course is open to all, whether or not you have any experience of prophecy, and takes a down-to-earth accessible approach to the following topics:

– Understanding Prophecy

– Tuning In

– Learning to Hear God’s Voice

– The Holy Spirit

– Values

– Growing in the Prophetic

– Guidelines and Good Practice

– Weighing Prophecies; Responding to the Prophetic

– Prophetic Ministry

We will be asking for a contribution to cover the costs of the participant booklets (suggested donation £7).

More information is available on the accessible prophecy website:

To sign-up and for more details contact Sam Tyndall


There will be a family ceilidh in church on Saturday 14th October, 6 p.m. -9 p.m. Music provided by Barney’s Band. Tickets £2 and please bring a contribution to a finger buffet. Tickets available from Fiona Fletcher, Mel Downs or the church office. All ages welcome. Bring your friends.

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Over the past few years Bear Grylls has become the embodiment of adventure and outdoor survival in the public imagination. A former reservist in the SAS, Bear has climbed Everest, navigated the Northwest Passage and Paramotored over the Himalayas.

As well as being an adventurer, writer and television presenter, Bear is a former guest on Alpha and is sharing his story with the world as part of our global invitation to explore faith.

Bear’s is one of millions of different stories of exploration—of asking life’s biggest questions without knowing what will be found. Despite a life characterised by risk, danger and the unknown, it is this exploration that he describes as his ‘greatest adventure’. Watch Bear’s story here.

A new Alpha Course starts on Wednesday 13th September. Email the church office if you would like to attend or bring a friend along.


© 2014 St Barnabas, Middlesbrough
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