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Barbados: Celebrating 50 Years of Independence

Sitting in the North Atlantic Ocean between 180 metres and 340 metres (Mount Hillaby) at its highest level above sea, is the beautiful Island in the sun, Barbados!  It is still considered a Caribbean Island despite its geographical position and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean.1

BARBADOS!   Or ‘Los Barbados’ – meaning,  “the bearded ones” - was the name given to this sunshine isle by the Portuguese who visited in 1536.2  The name is said to be derived from either the beard-like roots of the Fig Trees, once found in abundance, or from the long beards worn by the male Carib Indians who were the indigenous people at the time.3  It is also noted that the original name for Barbados, given by the Arawak Indians who were the first occupiers of the Island, was ‘Ichirouganaim’ – possibly meaning one of the following: “Red Land with White Teeth”, “Redstone Island with Teeth Outside (reefs)” or simply “Teeth”.4 

Barbados is comprised of eleven parishes, all of which are surrounded by the sea except two – St. Thomas and St. George.  It is a Christian nation and faith in God is intrinsically woven into the very fabric of Barbados’ vibrant society.  Barbadian people are proud of this heritage, often quipping that, “there is a church on every corner”.  Henceforth, it is no surprise that the Adventist message was first introduced to the island 125 years ago in 1891 and has, by God’s grace, flourished, bringing many souls to Christ.   

The Island’s rich history also encompasses cultures and traditions passed down from their West African ancestors and their British colonial rulers, from whom they gained independence from on the 30th November 1966.5  2016 marks 50 years of independence and celebrations have been held in honour of this auspicious occasion. 

Pastor David Burnett and Clapton Community SDA Church hosted a thanksgiving service on the 19th November 2016.  To commence this special event, Pastor Dr Colin Thorne, one of the leading ministers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Barbados and the Secretary of the East Caribbean Conference, gave the morning’s address.

His Excellency Mr Guy Hewitt, the Barbados High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was also in attendance and joined with the brethren in giving thanks to God for the 50 years of independence.

His Excellency Mr Lazarus Amayo, the Kenyan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, also conveyed a sentiment of congratulations to Clapton’s Barbadian members and visitors.

In addition, church leaders such as Pastor Augustus Lawrence, a representative of the BUC and Pastor Richard Daly, of the SEC and Area 6b coordinator, joined in the festivities.

The service commenced with a procession of the Pathfinder drum core, in their fine regalia escorting the dignitaries into the sanctuary. 

Barbadian members and visitors were visible as they represented their island, wearing their nation’s colours of blue, gold and black. 

The magnificence of the church building was complemented by the wonderful decor arranged by Sister Gordon and her team. 

Children were given goodie bags filled with Barbados themed items such as an activity booklet, stationary and a Barbados 50th independence pin.  These were lovingly arranged by Sis T. Donaldson and Sis I. Husbands. 

Lunch was served following the morning service, which showcased an array of Barbadian culinary delights.  Most notable were the vegetarian Fishcakes nicknamed ‘Vishcakes’, Rice and Peas and Macoroni Pie, with Coconut Cake, Conkies, Mauby and Sorrell for dessert.

The afternoon program, compéred by André and Eugenie, was full of praise and worship, historical footage of Barbados and quizzes that tested the congregation’s knowledge of all things Barbados.

The day was a delightful display of faith intertwined with culture, unity and joyous thanksgiving to God for the many years that Barbados has flourished.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Barbados 
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbados 
3 http://www.explorefacts.net/12-random-facts-barbados/ 
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbados 
http://www.explorefacts.net/12-random-facts-barbados/ 

Let Them Come Unto Me

If we don't teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them how not to.

Over the Spring holidays the children's department from Clapton Community SDA church organised a weekend camp away. The children were able to see Gods wonderful creation through hikes, devotions around campfires, and sighting animals. They learned about God's love for them and what His love means to them.

During the summer holidays the department organised a vacation bible school which was open to the public at large. "Knowing God Through Science" was the theme. It was a blast for the children, they were able to take part in a number of experiments relating to creation, the universe and the bible. They enjoyed field trips to parks and museums and we're also active in cooking, crafting and drama. It's a program the department plans to have every year.

The children's department from Clapton Community SDA Church make learning very fun and interesting for the kids consisting of activities planned to deal with every aspect of their spiritual growth.

The bible tells us in Psalms 78:2-4 , that we are not to hide the truth from our children, but tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. As a department and church this is our motto to ensure that this generation and the one to come will stand up for Jesus.

Eric and Monique Live in Concert

Eric and Monique ended their 4 months 2015 European tour in London, at the Clapton Seventh-day Adventist Church at 5pm on Saturday 28th November.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Isaiah 40:28. Eric and Monique are married singer-songwriters and musicianaries from Australia, spreading the gospel through word and song. They are involved in fulltime self-funded music ministry, travelling the world to share their deep love of our Saviour and testify of Him. This couple have now been married for 8 years, while singing and working together for the past 3 years. After previously quitting their respective jobs to start fulltime music ministry their families, though reluctant at first, offered their blessing. God's grace and provisions are immeasurable and has been providing for their ministry. According to the words of one of their songs, they say of God: "even if I doubt sometimes, I still love you and know you're true; You alone are my strength and refuge; God is creator, our life’s sustainer".

"When our world is shaking, God stands firm still". This couples voices blend together with such fluidity, with Eric playing the keyboard melodiously as they share their piano-driven songs. During the evenings programme Monique spoke to some extent of life changing experiences that led her to music, and in writing some of the words of their songs.

According to the words of one person in attendance on the evening: "I appreciated the voices and music, and was touched by their experiences". Another person said, "the way their melodious music was blended with the Holy Scriptures particularly touched me". Eric and Monique’s many experiences while travelling the world in ministering, offers a rich source and variety for their creative writing and musical minds. In this latest tour of Europe, some of their stops included Switzerland, Germany and Ukraine.

Only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sins and make us pure within. Let us draw on this blood to transform our lives, and commit ourselves to spending more time in Ministry for Him, in whatever form it take, and according as we are moved by the Holy Spirit. If you wish to support the ministry of Eric and Monique in any way, visit them online at ericandmonique.com.

Those in attendance at Clapton Community Church on the evening of 28th November were blessed by the ministry of this passionate couple, and we know that you too will be blessed.

Behold The Man 2

Clapton Seventh-Day Adventist Church welcomed back Evangelist Roger Duncan from Trinidad and Tobago for its second instalment of its Behold the Man 2 Campaign. Our evangelism campaign was kicked off with our week of prayer by Dr Nadine Joseph who taught us the powerful meaning of prayer and techniques for praying in faith and praying for favour. Our campaign was then fully complete when Evangelist Roger Duncan preached a powerful sermon night after night about the need to behold the man that is Jesus Christ. Roger Duncan gave us a wake up call to the things happening within the world that goes against the natural order of what God intended for us. Jesus is showing us the nature of this world, and only wants us to look up and call out to Him and realise only He will save us from the devastation of the world. God is willing to reach out to all and no matter what state, are welcome in the House of God. Old messages were brought a new and a fresh to us to remind us of the core of what we as Seventh-Day Adventists believe.

This three week revival came to an end with three young souls giving their lives to glorify God.

Roger Duncan's two week campaign is available on CD for those wishing to purchase for a price of £20. If you would like to place an order for a CD, please contact claptoncommunications@hotmail.co.uk.

ADRA Bake Sale

On Sunday May 3rd, a bake sale was held at Clapton Community Seventh-day Adventist church. A variety of sweet treats were brought to sell in the hopes of raising money for Adra.

It was a delight to see the young people get involved and bake their own cakes to sell at the event. The youngest was lovely Kacia aged 11, who baked a beautiful and delicious rainbow cake, and one of the first cakes to sell out.
Many from the local community came to support the cause buying bags of cakes and other treats. A few also stayed for a tour of the church’s historic building currently undergoing restoration works.

£312 was raised from the sale for Adra. Even after the cakes were sold out people still turned up 2 hours after the cake sale had ended.
Many who attended the event expressed eagerness for another in the future and even volunteered to bake for it too.

'Reclaiming Hackney' Good Friday March

Many came out to support the Good Friday march hosted by Clapton Community Seventh-day Adventist church on Friday April 3rd. The theme for the march was “Reclaiming Hackney” against gun crime, unemployment and drug addiction. There were 2 mothers who had sons that were victims of stabbings who also took part in the march.

With banners "STOP the bloodshed” as Jesus has shed his blood, the community and Clapton members followed the Holloway drum core that led the march from Clapton Community Seventh-day Adventist Church on Chelmer Road, past the murder mile and ended at the Hackney Town Hall on Mare Street. Vast crowds peered through doors and windows of houses and shops snapping photographs in curiosity and many accepted leaflets and free magazines. Once they reached the Town Hall, Pastor David Burnett prayed over the community and all who took part, after which the dynamic speaker Ray Patrick gave a short talk.

The march ended in a deprived estate hall where free refreshments were served followed by a workshop on Gang culture, a few from the community came in and joined in the lively discussions as to why young people join gangs and turn to crime. There were many moving testimonies from the community and one gentleman who had left church over 18 years ago has now given his life back to Christ and has bible studies.


This is the start of many peace marches Clapton church will host in the future to help their local community.

Restoration Part 2 (With Thanks)

On the evening of Sabbath 28th March the doors opened at 6:30pm sharp, seats were filled, and the roof of Clapton Community Seventh-day Adventist Church was raised with the lifting up of our praises to God. On this particular evening Clapton SDA hosted their second building restoration concert, the first of which took place in June 2014. There was much singing and dancing as guests experienced and thoroughly enjoyed blessings of the evening. We were blessed with music from musicians of various genres; from Classical to Afro-beat, from soloists to groups and intrumental solos. Each musical item was a true blessing.

Clapton Community SDA Church is housed in a magnificent Grade II listed building which was erected in 1891. We purchased the property in 2006 while it was in a derelict state, and have since committed to restoring the temple of God to its former glory. This restoration work will be a timely and hugely costly enterprise, which we know by the grace of God IS achievable.

To date, significant improvements have already taken place on the building, with the next phase of the restoration project being the building of new toilet facilities. The 28th March saw the beginning of fundraising efforts towards this next phase of project. Any financial contributions towards our restoration project will be greatly appreciated. With everything we are and everything we have, we continue to engage our with community in fellowship while sharing the gospel of Christ.

Clapton's International Community Fair

On Sunday the 31st August, the sunshine smiled on Clapton Community Seventh-day Adventist church in preparation for their international community fair held on the grounds outside the church building. The family fun filled day consisted of music, international food from a variety of countries, free clothes and fun activities for children in aid of raising funds for the restoration of St Pauls church.

Many members of the community, local businesses and Clapton church’s members worked together to organise this community event. Stalls were set up to offer free treats to every visitor, a bouncy castle and hula hoops were provided for the children, and members cycled for hours on an exercise bike to raise money for the cause.

No activities were held inside the church which allowed visitors to take a tour of the historic building and enjoy some quiet meditation time.

The international fair was a wonderful opportunity for members of the Clapton community church to build bridges with their local community in an open and informal environment, it even inspired a few visitors to volunteer and contribute to the next one! This is the start of a special relationship with the local community, and with God the possibilities are absolutely endless.

BEHOLD THE MAN! Campaign by Evangelist Roger Duncan

If you had to choose between rescuing your son who had fallen down a shaft and rescuing a speeding train with hundreds of people aboard hurtling to their certain death, which would you choose? If in the course of rescuing the train, the train would crush your son to death in the shaft, would your answer be different? See one man’s choice here. This was the emotive question that was posed at the end of a powerful and thought provoking fortnight of meetings with Evangelist Roger Duncan from Trinidad and Tobago.

Members of Clapton Community and Woodford Green churches hosted the campaign at Clapton church from Sabbath September 6th to 20th. The extremely popular evangelist, known for his passionate in depth clever delivery, personal testimony and clarion call to action, nightly challenged his listeners to put aside their differences between one another in order to finish the work. Evangelist Roger Duncan also instructed those who could to join him in a ten day watermelon fast to facilitate earnest prayer, clarity of the mind and reception of the Holy Spirit.

Roger’s knowledge and explanation of the Word was profound using Hebrew translations, present day analogies, personal experience and church practice. Loud Amens, echoes of laughter, nods of confirmations, and rapturous applause were often the results of his proofs and crescendos. News spread of his campaign and members with their visitors as far afield as Willesden, Hampstead, Tottenham, Edmonton Central and Lighthouse churches came to pack out the Clapton sanctuary filling the newly acquired pews leaving standing room only. Guest singers arranged to surprise Roger with a special meditational and nightly prayer was requested by members touched by the messages.

At the end of the fortnight, moving testimonies were given of both the positive effects of the watermelon fast and the impact of putting Matthew 18 into practice. One member testified of his reconciling with an estranged family member over more than a decade long dispute. The release from his burden and freedom he gained was unimaginable, encouraging others to do the same.

It comes as no surprise then that the waters were troubled at the end of the campaign when three people decided to give their lives to Jesus and were baptised at Clapton supported by their friends and family then welcomed into the fellowship, with others declaring that they wish to follow suit soon. 

As Roger Duncan prepares to leave these shores, we are left blessed, changed by his campaign through the Holy Spirit and moved into action to bring on the soon coming of the Lord.

If you would like CDs of Roger's 14 day series, they are available from Clapton Church Technical Team. Please send an email to claptoncommunications@hotmail.co.uk

Praises went up and the blessings came down at our Restoration concert

As the evening dawned on Sabbath 7th June, Clapton Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church opened its doors for its well-anticipated 'Restoration Concert' in aid of the St Paul's Building Fund Project. Having a mission to restore its building back to its original state so it can serve their community better and bring more lives to Christ, Clapton showed just a glimpse of the greatness that Heaven will be.  

Artists from across London such as Devotion, The Company, Ministerz of Praise, Chiswick Choir and Sabrina Ramikie, all brought the house down as they ministered to well over 300 people. Each artist brought a new level of praise to the table, leaving Israel .J. Allen to end the evening giving the biggest, most powerful and soul-inspiring performance. From Clapton's Praise Team to the Audio Visual Team, from the Chefs to the Ushers, everyone worked extremely hard from conception to deliverance.

Clapton's aim was not only to raise funds to restore its building but to help others restore themselves spiritually. Heaven simply rejoiced at the praises going up and the blessings all certainly came down.

Clapton raised over £3000 from the concert which goes towards a project currently in need of £70,000.