On Sunday, March 25, Upper Stratton Baptist Church (USBC) in Green Road, celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
A special service at 10.30am was attended by over 200 people – many having travelled from their homes across the country to this special reunion meeting.
“It was a great opportunity to meet friends whose lives have taken them to other places as well as celebrating our 150 years of serving God and the community” said Rev David Blandford, Senior Pastor at USBC since 1981.
The reunion is just one of a year-long series of events planned by the church – ranging from a 150 mile cycle ride and a visit from TV Presenter Rev. Steve Chalke MBE to a Community Festival in June. “We have planned a wide variety of events to try to include everyone” said a spokesman for the church. “Probably the biggest event of all will be our free Community Festival on Meadowcroft Rec. on 23 June which we hope the whole community will enjoy”, he said.
The church is proud of its long history. Founded in 1862 (while the American Civil War was still raging) many thousands of people have attended and found it a special place to worship and serve God and the local community. The buildings have grown and been modernised over the years and were completely refurbished in 1996.
In 1999, USBC was one of the largest independent UK contributors of aid to refugees from the war in Kosovo, generously supported by the Adver, other local media and the people of Swindon.
Today, the church buildings are used by around 500 people every week, ranging from pre-school children and young people to more elderly members of the community. Members of the church are involved in a wide range of activities including The Filling Station, Swindon Foodbank and Swindon Youth for Christ.
More information about the church is online at usbc.org.uk