• Posted on May 20, 2019 4:27 pm
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    Dove Church this month is on Thursday 23 May starting at 7 pm in the Lower Hall of the Palace Gate Centre, Please come in off Palace Gate.   We are currently looking at some of the songs (Psalms) in the Bible and seeing what we can learn about God from them. This month we look at Psalm 72 which is all about how a king should behave. The Bible states that a king should be a blessing to his people and concerned about the poor. What does this psalm teach us about Jesus?   Dove Church is a different way of doing church - we don't sing and we don't sit in straight lines. We gather around a meal table and share food together cooked for us here. We break bread together and share in a contemporary liturgy. Instead of a sermon, we discuss the passage we are thinking about.   Dove Church seeks to be a safe space where anyone can explore faith and ask questions. Together, we seek to learn more about Jesus and the life he gives. We make no charge for the meal, but invite those who come to donate towards the cost of the food.   Please note that Dove Church in June will be at 7 pm on Thursday 27 June - our theme will be the Spirit of God.

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  • Posted on March 18, 2019 5:06 pm
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    On 2 June, 1979 the Palace Gate Centre was formally opened by Mr Peter Mills. MP, the Chair of the House of Commons Christian Fellowship. The abandoned and dusty old Kennaways Wine Warehouse established in the 18th Century and next door to South Street Baptist Church, through much love, money and labour had been turned into a wonderful new meeting place for the city. The church moved its lunch club over to the new centre which also soon became the home of the jigsaw library and local deaf club. Many volunteers worked hard to provide a place for people to come and know they were valued. With the appointment of a community development worker, the emerging Palace Gate Project formed partnerships that still have an impact on the city to this day, for instance, with the development of work for the homeless and affordable counselling. Through 2019, we will be celebrating the opening of the Centre and forty years of serving the city. We are collecting memories of people's involvement with the Centre and pictures so please do get in touch if you have something to share. On Sunday 24th March, we welcome to our 11 am service at South St Baptist Church the Revd Brian Haymes and the Revd John Stroud. Brian was the minister at the church when it was considering its future vision and purpose - a process that led to the idea of the Palace Gate Centre being born. John was the minister who saw the Centre opened and worked with many others to establish it and see it develop. At the service, John will share his reflections on those early years and Brian will preach on "Being God's People", a theme he helped the church explore more than forty years ago, but still a very relevant question. All are very welcome to join us for this celebration, which will include singing the hymns that were used at the opening of the Centre. Current minister of South St Baptist Church and chaplain to the Centre, Simon Taylor, wrote the following article to mark the beginning of celebrating the Centre's fortieth year: "Over forty years ago our church posed the question, “What does it mean to be the people of God in the city centre?” Much debate, discussion and prayer then followed that led to the church giving up its purpose-built hall to take on the challenge of converting the dirty and derelict warehouse next door into useable space. When I sit down and enjoy a cup of tea in what is now the Lower Hall, I am truly in awe at the courage, commitment and sheer hard work of these visionaries. We owe them a vast debt of gratitude yet we know that graciously and faithfully they gave of themselves in love. These wonderful sisters and brothers poured their hearts into the Palace Gate Centre and Project in service to their Lord; for them it was an expression of their worship of God and of their longing to express the love of this God to as many as possible. They were inspired by the God who in Jesus stopped with us at the point of our need and in sacrificial love sought to bring to us healing and peace. This month we look forward to welcoming back many of the good friends involved in this process as we begin to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Palace Gate Centre. I am excited to hear their stories, learn from their wisdom and let them see how the story has continued. We will also remember and give thanks for those involved in the Centre and Project who are no longer with us but who left us with this fantastic legacy. In the life of the Christian church today it can seem that we are often preoccupied with initiatives, strategies and schemes; we search for the next programme or idea that we hope might reverse the declining influence of the Church. The commitment made by South Street Baptist Church forty years ago and shared by so many others was a commitment to put people at the heart of what we do, not programmes. It was borne out of an awareness of people’s needs and aimed simply to get alongside local people. The mural painted by our church member Joan Wolkers, shown above, illustrates this passion for people beautifully. It shows within the Palace Gate Centre people of every age and ability sharing in a wide range of activities. The motivation for this people-centred approach is to put agendas aside and simply love people in all their need and brokenness. At the centre of this outreach is the love that was broken for us, mediated by the Spirit of the Risen Jesus - a love that through its own vulnerability and availability offers wholeness and hope. I know that I am truly honoured to follow in the footsteps of those who began this work and to play a part in its ongoing story. It is a privilege to be among you today as in the name and way of Jesus we strive to continue to simply love those who come in through our doors and pray for their wellbeing. As our city centre continues to change we will need to go on asking that question “What does it mean to be the people of God here?” and pray that as the Dove of the Spirit guided us in the past, so God will guide us still in the years to come".

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  • Posted on March 18, 2019 1:41 pm
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    It has been wonderful this week to host the Devon Performing Arts Festival https://www.facebook.com/Devon-Performing-Arts-Festival-1066991520050537/ It has been good to hear the building filled with music and poetry and we hope that all those taking part have found it a wonderful experience. We hope it will encourage lots of people, and especially young people, to go on performing and developing their talent. If you want to hear some of the amazing talent we have in the county, then the Arts Festival Gala Concert is at 6.30 pm on Friday 22 March at South Street Baptist Church. This normally includes song, recitation, piano and other instrument recitals - it is always a good concert and a good way to encourage emerging talent. The concert is around and hour and a half long and refreshments are served afterwards.

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  • Posted on July 12, 2018 8:32 am
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    There is still time to grab a summer puzzle to do before the Jigsaw Library begins it summer holiday on Monday 23 July. The puzzle library will close for the summer on Friday 20 July and will then reopen on Monday 3 September. The library is based in the Palace Gate Centre and is easily accessible on the ground floor of the Centre. It is open from 10 am till 12 noon every Monday to Friday and offers an amazing range of jigsaws, different sizes and thousands of designs. Use of the library is free, though a donation is appreciated to help cover running costs. More details of the service found at the Jigsaw Puzzle Library are at http://exeterjigsawlibrary.org.uk/

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  • Posted on June 22, 2018 7:52 pm
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    South Street Baptist Church are pleased to host a summer concert by Croydon Male Voice Choir. It will be in the church on Friday 6th July starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £7 each and the choir have very generously agreed that proceeds will go to the church. As well as running South Street Baptist Church, we also maintain and manage the Palace Gate Centre for the benefit of the city. We are very grateful for their support and are sure we will have a great evening. Tickets are available from the Palace Gate Centre reception or on the door - sorry but we can only accept cash or cheques. If you want more details please ring 01392 279485. The musical director of the choir is Richard Hoyle and Darren Wilkins will solo on the flute. You can find our more about the choir at http://www.croydonmalevoicechoir.co.uk/ or you can have a preview of Croydon at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPkY1ekGcE8. We hope to see you there!    

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