Peter and Vicki Butchers grew up and met in Tonbridge, Kent. They were married in 1994 and Peter trained for the Baptist ministry at Spurgeon's College from 1994-1997, while Vicki worked using her qualification as a nursery nurse.
After college Peter served Sheep Street Baptist Church, Devizes in Wiltshire for seven years, and it was in Wiltshire that they had their four children: Thomas, Charis, Alex and Zoe. While serving the church in Devizes, Peter was also Chaplain to Wiltshire Fire Brigade, being involved in supporting the Firefighters and in pastoral care of Fire Brigade staff. In addition he served for two years on the Baptist Union Church Relations Committee in Didcot.
In 2004 Peter and Vicki sensed the Lord call them to serve overseas, and in November 2005 flew to Guayaquil, Ecuador to work as church planters among the urban poor with BMS World Mission. There they spent just over four years church planting in a slum community, and developing a network of Church Planters throughout the city. Peter also helped the regional Baptist Association begin a church planting strategy, including several projects to implement the vision they had helped develop with the Missions Department of the Baptist Convention. Vicki began a PEPE pre-school programme in one of the poor communities where they served, and took an active role in the development of PEPE throughout the country.
They concluded their ministry with BMS World Mission at the end of March 2010 and moved to Upper Beeding in August to commence the ministry here.
Peter and Vicki's passion is to serve the church and help it become a generous people with a calling to relate, love, work, celebrate and struggle together, impacting its community with the love of Jesus.
'TeamButchers' have a strong sense of being called by God as a family, and the children take a full and active part in the life of the church as well. They are looking forward to making new friends and getting involved with Upper Beeding and Steyning life.
The minister is supported in leading the church by our Church Leadership Team.
Church Leadership Team
I was brought up in a loving and strongly Christian family. After marrying Jean in August 1960 we left for Nigeria, and in 2005 concluded 45 years of ministry in Christian Education in Africa. We were always based at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, where I was involved in community leadership development, and training Pastors and Christian Education teachers. In the final 5 years opportunities opened to teach at theological institutions in Uganda and in North and South Sudan and, briefly, give training in the use of Christian youth materials in China.
Now 'retired', and a member of UBBC for the past 3 years, I am the link between the Leadership Team and the Ministry Teams of both the Home Groups and Pastoral Care.
My 'passion' and main concern remains for the appropriate, genuinely contextual interpretation and application of Scripture, both at UBBC, and also in Africa. I am also concerned for an increased awareness of creation, the importance of holistic conservation of God's world, and the maintenance of justice and righteousness at all levels of government in the country.
After 30+ years living in the North I moved south 11 years ago and what a beautiful place to settle down.
I've been in Baptist church leadership roles for over 20 years having become a Christian when I was 16 years old. Currently serving as part-time administrator to support Wendy while we're looking for a new minister, I'm also part of the preaching and ministry team and help with PA & AV. During the week I serve with Claybury Trust to support church leaders, churches and Christian charities be the best they can be as they serve others.
The thing I value most about UBBC? The love and support everyone seeks to give to one another especially in home groups.
John Hartwell - Church Treasurer
I have no formal "accounting" qualifications, but have spent a career in financial services, specifically in the insurance industry as a Chartered Insurer.
I am now retired and have been involved in Church Leadership in various financial roles for some 18 years in Baptist and Methodist Churches.
Whilst always being mindful of the need for good stewardship of the Lord's provision, my passion is to put mission before money, therefore discerning God's will and seeking His vision for Church is my priority.
From Africa to Upper Beeding may not sound like a typical relocation but that's what I and my husband Jay and our two children did in 2002, after 15 years overseas. We had been working with Christian organisations in Kenya in water and health development but had come to a point where God was leading us to return to the UK. It is exciting to look back and see how God unfolded His plans and purposes in and through us, cross-culturally and then as we struggled to adjust to living in Britain.
I made a wholehearted commitment to Christ some 30 years ago but have not been in Church leadership up to now. I consider it a privilege and a challenge to be seeking and serving God on the leadership team of UBBC. My desire is for each of us to know and love God more in our daily lives and to make that a reality in the home and family, where we work, play or study, out at the shops or walking the dog! The impact in our community and families, of God living in us through Christ, in the power of the Spirit, will have profound effects.
Despite his youthful looks (!!) Robin, along with Jan and family, has been part of UBBC for the past 30 years and he has been a deacon and youth leader at various times during this period. He has been a member of the current leadership team for the past 2 years and is involved in the 'Mens Breakout' events.
He says "I have always valued the sense of family at UBBC; the care and concern for us and the children, as they have grown up, and the willingness to reach out to others to share the Good News that Jesus brings".
Wendy Steele - Church Secretary
I have belonged to UBBC for far more years than I care to own up to (!) having been involved in many different areas of church life during that time. Currently, I'm Church Secretary and head up the administration team, which includes the recently re-launched church magazine, Inside Out.
My desire is for UBBC to be God's people in our community.
Rev Thomas R D Duncanson was minister at UBBC until the end of February 2010. Tom and wife Ruth were at UBBC for almost 12 years, until Tom took up a new post as Chaplain at St Wilfrid's Hospice, Eastbourne. Read a final letter from Tom.
Mike Parker, our former Minister in Training, is now Minister at Worthing Baptist Church as of September 2009.