NAME: JULIA MARY BINNEY
I am currently the Minister of Abbey Baptist Church, Reading, Berkshire, one of the first Baptist Churches established in the UK c.1640. Set in the historic Abbey Quarter of the town Abbey has a significant past and, we believe, and even more exciting future. Over the last 380 years the church has planted in excess of 25 new congregations and currently is the home to four different congregations – Living Streams International, an African (primarily Ghanaian) congregation; Peniel Church, a Portuguese-speaking congregation; Zion Church of God, a Sri Lankan/Indian congregation – as well as the English-speaking Baptist congregation. In addition there are a whole host of daytime and evening activities that take place throughout the week as the church seeks to be a Community Hub Church serving both God and the immediate community.
Prior to my Induction as the Minister at Abbey in November 2018 I was the Minister of Knaphill Baptist Church, Woking; Chair of C4K (The Church for Knaphill), the local ecumenical group; and a part-time member of the Chaplaincy Team at HMP Send. I am also part way through my Doctoral studies at the University of Winchester. I believe God has led me to do this not so much for the qualification but to expand my horizons, uncover my potential, grow in theological understanding and reflection on practice. Prior to going to Knaphill I was Associate Minister at Beckenham Baptist Church, Kent (where my husband Jim was the Senior Minister). During our seven years in Beckenham, by the grace of God, we saw considerable growth both spiritually and numerically. Having been a Student Minister with an LEP, I worked closely with Churches Together in Beckenham, and led the setting up of the local Street Pastors Scheme. Following a period of ill-health, I stepped down from my role as Associate Minister and took a ‘leave of absence’ from the Baptist Ministry. At the same time, Jim also ‘retired’ from the Baptist Ministry. We moved down to West Dorset to ‘house share’ with my elderly mother with a view to me eventually returning to the Baptist Ministry when I had fully recovered from my illness. We were active members of Dorchester Baptist Church during this time helping to lead the mid-week Prayer and Communion Service, serving as members of the Prayer Ministry Team, playing a key role in one of the Home Groups, and preaching from time to time.
PERSONAL GIFTS AND MINISTRY STYLE
I have an open and friendly disposition. I am told that I am a good preacher, communicating the deep truths of God in an interesting and relevant way. My preaching has been described as Scriptural, Christ-centred, intelligent and encouraging. I am interested in new ways of communicating the Gospel whilst ensuring the faithful proclamation of God’s Word. My heart is for dynamic and meaningful blended worship where people are able to participate and use their creative gifts to the glory of God. I have always had a servant heart, and am considered to be an empathic and caring listener, pastorally prayerful, and discerning. I am a change-orientated leader, looking to promote and explore new possibilities and opportunities and am experienced in managing change and growth. I seek to be encouraging, enabling and facilitating, developing a relational church not managing an institution. I am also a participative and consensual leader. I enjoy working as a team, uncovering potential in people and developing their gifts. I have a passion for prayer, and different forms of prayer, and helping people grow in their prayer life. I have a desire to see the church built up in the faith with discipleship and small groups fostering spiritual growth, but I also see the work of ministry to be wider than the Church. Recent experience, especially as a part-time prison chaplain, has strengthened my heart for the marginalised and vulnerable in our society.
THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES, VALUES AND PRIORITIES
I am a progressive evangelical, open to the things of the Spirit and Baptist in churchmanship. I am interested in contemporary thinking on mission and the reshaping of the church for today. The BU Five Core Values of a Gospel People articulate well my vision of the local church being a community that is worshipping, prophetic, sacrificial, missional and inclusive. I also enjoy other approaches to the Christian faith and respect alternative views. I would always want to be involved ecumenically. As with many others today, I feel strongly that that the future of the Church, for the one Body of Christ, is ecumenical and shared.
I seek to work to bring God’s kingdom to our communities by being involved in community ministry. This is increasingly becoming a key part of my ministry. My heart is to develop a vibrant, community hub church at the heart of the community, ministering to people’s physical, mental, social and emotional needs as well as their spiritual needs. The tenets of holistic/integral mission incorporate helping people practically without losing sight of their need to come to Christ and our imperative to evangelise. Such involvement in the community creates opportunities for evangelism. I feel that mission, evangelism, pastoral care and work in the community go hand in hand. It is in how we live together authentically in God’s community of faith, living out Kingdom values in our society that contributes so much to the mission of God. Our ministry and message are transformational for individuals and society. I believe that the church should speak and act prophetically on issues of social justice.
CONVERSION & CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE PRIOR TO MINISTERIAL FORMATION
I come from a nominal Anglican background and, as a child, attended our local parish church. After University and a variety of jobs, I found myself at a crossroads in my life. I experienced what I can only describe as an awakening of the soul and began searching for God. I knew the great truths of the Christian faith but found myself suddenly believing that Jesus really did rise from the dead and that he is still alive today. This experience completely revolutionised my life and I committed my life to Christ in 1987. I developed a deeper understanding of repentance and faith, forgiveness and the work of the Holy Spirit. I was baptised by immersion in 1988 and benefitted from a renewal experience in 1989. I had grown spiritually but knew I needed a dynamic input from God to sustain my walk with God. It was a life changing experience when I believe the Lord first spoke to me about ministry. I married Jim (an ordained Baptist Minister) in 1991 and moved to Kinmel Hall. This was a very exciting time, as we developed a Ministry Team and had significant input into the lives of the volunteers. We then moved to Bewdley, Worcestershire and prayerfully waited for God to reveal the next step and it was during this time that I developed a growing interest in theology. I started working at the Pioneer Centre (a Christian Conference and Holiday centre in Shropshire), which gave me incalculable experience and training, at the same time as Jim was called to be the Pastor of Far Forest Baptist Church, Worcestershire. In 1996, I became a full time Pastoral Worker at Far Forest BC and then Kings Heath & Moseley Baptist Church from 1997. I increasingly felt the call to become an ordained Minister and therefore needed to be trained and accredited.
INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF LOCAL CHURCH AND OTHER INFORMATION
I am interested in history and am a member of English Heritage and the National Trust. I enjoy walking in the countryside. I also like looking at art and am a friend of the Royal Academy. In the past I enjoyed painting, dressmaking and upholstery. I am currently learning to play the guitar. We enjoy our holidays; especially in France (I am improving my French).
I have been married to Jim for twenty-eight years. Right from the start of our marriage we have sensed God’s call to Ministry together. We are still partners in the Gospel. Jim is officially retired but remains very active in supporting me in the ministry and mission at Abbey and in the wider work of the kingdom of God. We are both passionate about community ministry and continue to work together for the Lord in our various and ever-changing roles. More information about us both is available on our web page (details below).
Education (and qualifications prior to Ministerial Training)
1969-74 Loughborough High School – 7 GCE ‘O’ levels;
1974-76 Bosworth College, Leicestershire – 3 GCE ‘A’ levels
1976-79 University of Essex – BA Hons Degree in Economics
1980-81 Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh – HCIMA Post Graduate Diploma
Work Experience (prior to Ministerial Training)
After university, I briefly studied accountancy, I then trained in Hotel, Catering & Institutional Management, joining Mecca Leisure in 1981 as a Catering Manager, then Vittle Inns in 1983. In 1984, I started a Catering Supply business. After selling the business in 1987 (this is when I became a Christian), I joined a local Estate Agency becoming a District Director with Abbey National over eight offices in West London. I then got married and moved to N. Wales.
1999 -2002 Spurgeon’s College: Church Based Ministerial Training for a Diploma in Pastoral Studies
2004-2007 College of Preachers based at Spurgeon’s College: Master’s Degree in Theology
2017 – University of Winchester: Studying (part-time) for a Professional Doctorate in Theology and Practice
RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
Diploma of Theology in Pastoral Studies
Master of Theology (MTh) in Preaching
1991-1992 Centre Manager, Kinmel Hall Christian Conference Centre North Wales
1993-1996 Catering & Domestic Manager, Pioneer Christian Centre, Shropshire
1995-1997 Deacon for Social Responsibility, Far Forest Baptist Church, Worcestershire
1996-1997 Pastoral Worker, Far Forest Baptist Church, Worcestershire
1997-2003 Pastoral Worker, King Heath & Moseley Baptist Church, Birmingham
1998-2003 Member of Executive Committee of Hazelmere Trust (Baptist Home)
2000-2002 Student Pastor, Trinity Church, Solihull, West Midlands (LEP)
2004-2010 Associate Minister, Beckenham Baptist Church, Elm Road, Beckenham, Kent
2014-17 Assessor for Spurgeon’s College on the Church Training Initiative Course
2015-17 Online Tutor in ‘Preaching and Teaching in the Context of Worship’ and ‘Teaching and Preaching the Prophets’ at Spurgeon’s College
2015- 2018 Minister, Knaphill Baptist Church, High Street, Woking, Surrey
2016-2018 Part Time Volunteer Sessional Chaplain – HMP Send
2018- Minister, Abbey Baptist Church, Reading
Phone Number: 0118 9212588
Mobile Number: 07533 555656
Web Page: http://www.therevjs.com
Marital Status: Married
Name of Spouse: Jim
NAME: JAMES PHILIP BINNEY
I am officially retired (as though Baptist Ministers ever really ever retire), a member at Abbey Baptist Church, Reading, where I support my wife, Julia, in her role as the Minister of the church. Prior to coming to Abbey, I was the non-stipendiary Community Minister at Knaphill Baptist Church, Woking, where I was active in building bridges with the local community primarily through the work of the Knaphill Residents’ Association, editing the popular and influential Knaphill News, a somewhat glossy publication which was distributed to every home in and around Knaphill and had a readership of c.16,000 people. At the same time I served as Network Pastor for the North Downs Network of the South Eastern Baptist Association of the Baptist Union with pastoral responsibility for some 20 churches and 30 or so Ministers in the area.
Before that I served as an ordained and accredited Baptist Minister for almost 50 years in various places throughout the UK, most recently as the Senior Minister of Beckenham Baptist Church, Kent, a numerically large suburban church on the edge of London, where my wife Julia was the Associate Minister.
I am also a ‘would-be’ Practical Theologian and am currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in Theology and Practice at the University of Winchester.
PERSONAL GIFTS & SKILLS
Although I am now officially ‘retired’ from the Baptist Ministry I still seek to serve God, and the local church, in any way I am required (without getting in the way). During my time in ‘active ministry’ I was seen as someone God had called and equipped to be a Leader and a Pastor-Teacher within the Church, a dynamic leader whose gifts were prophetic, visionary and transformational. Every church that I pastored recognised my teaching gift and each church grew significantly both in numbers and spirituality during my time there. I was considered to be a powerful and effective preacher and teacher. Hopefully, although now retired, I retain something of these qualities still, gifts that can be used for the glory of God and the blessing of others. My heart is still to communicate Biblical truth and the message of Jesus in a relevant and effective way using words and visuals. I still enjoy ‘pastoral work’ and spending quality time with individuals helping them to progress in their ‘journey’. In latter years I have become very interested (not to say concerned) in the need for local churches to develop into ‘missional congregations’ (rather than remain as ‘self-preservation societies’), particularly the concept of (wherever possible) the local church becoming a ‘community hub church’ serving Christ and the people right at the heart of the community.
Whilst (like many Baptist-Christians) my roots are in reformed faith, I am also indebted to the renewal movement of the 1960s and 1970s, but am perhaps best described as a progressive evangelical who also appreciates other Christian spiritualities. I am committed to Ancient-Future Worship – taking the best of the old and the best of the new and blending them into a meaningful whole. I am sympathetic to the ecumenical movement and, as well as being actively involved in Churches Together in Beckenham, and Chairperson for two years, I helped set up an ecumenical Street Pastors in Beckenham after being approached by the local police for help. I believe that Christians of all denominations (I prefer to think in terms of spiritualities) need to work together if we are to impact society. I have always sought to get involved in the local community, serving on the local Residents’ Association, as a school governor, and so on, interpreting the ‘missio dei’ in terms of holistic/integral ministry. As a Baptist-Christian I am committed to Association life and believe that interdependency rather than independency should be the watchword of the local church in this direction.
In the local church, although I have now stepped back from ‘primary leadership’, I see myself as a member of a team and am committed to encouraging the local church in developing team and body ministry. I am committed to congregational government but believe this should be understood in terms of community and consensus rather than democracy. As such I believe we must be open to hearing God speak through the episcopal figure (apostle or pastor), or presbytery (elders or deacons), as well as through the congregational meeting. I believe that the local church needs to be a missionary congregation, whilst retaining its commitment to Pastoral care and discipleship.
CONVERSION & CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE
Coming from a completely non-Christian background, I was converted in 1960 at the age of 16 years during a youth meeting at Greenford Baptist Church, Middlesex, and baptised a year later becoming a member of the church. A convinced evangelical from the moment of my conversion I still subscribe broadly to evangelical faith. At 18 years of age I was one of the Youth Leaders in the church and at 21 elected to the Diaconate. In 1965 I entered Spurgeon’s College, London, to train for the Baptist Ministry having heard the call of God to such a ministry when I was 18 years old. In 1967, whilst still a student at Spurgeon’s, I came into a renewal experience which changed my life significantly. The depth of experience gained through over 40 years of pastoral ministry has given me a broad view of things and a profound appreciation of the needs of today’s society. The dissolution of my first marriage in 1987 led to a period of darkness and difficulty and ultimately caused me to prayerfully review my faith and lifestyle. By God’s grace I have come through that period a stronger, better and wiser, person. That experience has given me a greater understanding of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God, and a greater compassion for others, particularly those who are going through difficult times themselves. Prayer has become more vital to me personally and for the people I am called to serve. My passion, enthusiasm, excitement and vitality for the work of ministry and mission is greater than ever, and I continue to be convinced of the power of the Gospel to change lives and society today.
EDUCATION & WORK EXPERIENCE
I attended Greenford County Grammar School: 6 GCE ‘O’levels, and 1 GCE ‘A’ level.
From 1965-69 I attended Spurgeon’s College, London, and trained for the Baptist Ministry, being ordained in 1969. From 1982-87 I took a BA in Theology, and from 1994-97 an MTh in Applied Theology, followed by an M.Phil in Divinity from 2000-2009 … all part time with Spurgeon’s College, London. I am currently working towards a Professional Doctorate in Theology and Practice with the University of Winchester
BA in Theology (CNAA); MTh in Applied Theology (Wales); MPhil in Divinity (Wales)
Work Experience prior to Ministerial Training
On leaving school in 1960 I worked as a trainee draughtsman in the Mechanical Engineering department of Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd., Southall, Middlesex. During two breaks in pastoral service I have also worked as a Financial Consultant and in Estate Agency.
1969-73 Pastor, Bewdley Baptist Church, Worcestershire
1973-77 Assemblies of God Ministry
1977-80 Senior Pastor, Mitcham Lane Baptist Church, Streatham, London
1982-87 Senior Pastor, Teddington Baptist Church, Middlesex
1991-1992 Resident Director, Kinmel Hall Christian Conference Centre, Abergele, North Wales
1993-97 Pastor, Far Forest Baptist Church, Worcestershire
1996-2000 Board Member of Christian International Relief Mission
1996-2001 Open Learning Course Tutor in NT Introduction & NT Theology, Spurgeon’s College
1997 President, Worcestershire Baptist Association
1997-2004 Pastor, Kings Heath and Moseley Baptist Church, Kings Heath, Birmingham
2004-10 Senior Pastor, Beckenham Baptist Church, Beckenham, Kent
2011-17 Baptist Ministers’ Fellowship Committee Member
2011-2015 Online Tutor in ‘Preaching and Teaching in the Context of Worship’ and ‘Teaching and Preaching the Prophets’ at Spurgeon’s College
2015-17 Online Tutor in ‘Doctrine of the Spirit and the Ethics of Responsiveness’ and ‘Theologies of Mission’ at Spurgeon’s College
2016-18 Community Minister, Knaphill Baptist Church (non- stipendiary)
2016-18 Network Pastor for the 20+ churches of the North Downs Network of the South Eastern Baptist Association of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
2018 – Retired from active Ministry. Member of Abbey Baptist Church, Reading
I am very interested in history and am a member of the National Trust, English Heritage, and a Friend of the Royal Academy. I enjoy all sports although I do not participate in many these days apart from the odd game of table tennis. I am an avid reader, a keen gardener, and enjoy DIY, painting with watercolour and acrylic, photography, writing and walking.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION
I have been married to Julia for 28 years. We have no children of our own but I have two grown up children (from my first marriage), and four grandchildren. Julia is also an ordained and accredited Baptist Minister and was Associate Pastor with me at Beckenham Baptist Church. She is currently the Minister of Abbey Baptist Church, Reading. Julia and I still see ourselves very much as a team, albeit myself serving in primarily a supportive role. Julia is 15 years my junior and, although I remain healthy and active, I in no way wish to ‘get in her way’ as she continues to exercise her own excellent and capable ministry.
Telephone: 0118 9212588 (home) 07533555887 (mobile)
Web Page: http://www.therevjs.com
Date of Birth: 13.11.43 Marital Status: Married
Name of Spouse: Julia (d.o.b 15.05.58)
Dependent Children: None Other Dependants: None