For some time now we have been talking with our friends from the Darlington Baptist Tabernacle (that we tend to think of as Corporation Road Baptist Church) about the possibility of merging to become one new church. It has taken time (God’s time as much as ours) to reach a point where both churches said “Yes” to merging but things have moved forward and DARLINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH (“DBC”) now exists as a legal entity – albeit an empty shell at the moment. There is still a lot of red tape to cut through and small print to overcome before the formal merger can take place and all the assets of the two existing churches can be transferred to DBC, so that DBC starts running as a ‘real’ church. However, we are optimistic that we will get there by September.
We have a date for a Service to celebrate the life of two existing churches and to ‘launch’ the new one – Friday 15th September, at 7.30 pm. Rev John Singleton, who has been involved with Corporation Road in the past and was the Moderator of Grange Road for a few months after our prevoius minister (Rev John Elliston) left, will be preaching at that Service. The first official Sunday worship time of Darlington Baptist Church will follow on Sunday 17th September.
But, putting the legal stuff to one side, we are getting on with being one church so far as we can. The Sunday morning congregation at Corporation Road is worshipping with us at Grange Road – each Sunday at 10.30 am. The 6.00 pm time of worship on a Sunday evening is continuing at Corporation Road, along with the current weekday events at the Tabernacle.
So far as this site is concerned, we are trying to incorporate Corporation Road stuff but, inevitably, the site was set up for Grange Road and it is not easy to meld things seemlessly. So our website pages will look a bit stitched and lop-sided in the short-term and you may come across ‘Darlington Baptist Church’ in one place and ‘Grange Road Baptist Church’ in another. But it won’t be for too long. When we launch the Darlington Baptist Church site we will be starting from a clean sheet and we will be one church electronically as well as practically.
Watch this space as things develop.