Carleton Rode Baptist Church is situated in rural South Norfolk, standing between the villages of Carleton Rode and Bunwell which have a total combined population of approximately 1500. The nearest small town is Attleborough, which is 5 miles away, whilst Norwich is 17 miles away.
Our previous minister described us as ‘the Church in the heart of the countryside, with the country community at heart!’. An apt description for our mission here. Our church building is very important to us, representing as it does over 200 years of local worship and witness in this rural community. It is a recognised, familiar and well loved landmark built between two villages and serving both. Many local families have relatives buried in the graveyard. However, even more important is the space our building provides for local people to come together and meet here. Sharing their experiences, hopes and fears and finding encouragement for their everyday lives.
We have a membership of 42 with a regular Sunday morning congregation of around 50. A smaller group meet for evening worship. We run a full programme of activities including regular bible studies, a Ladies’ meeting and a young peoples' group, The Loft, for around 25 children aged 8 – 12 years.
In addition to our regular services and activities, we run a Coffee Shop three times a week and hold a Community Meal in the main church each month. These are supported by between 60 to 100 local residents and provide a regular meeting place in an area of rural deprivation. Many visitors comment on the warmth of the welcome they receive and often refer to the church as being ‘a very special place, peaceful and welcoming.’
Finally, Carleton Rode Baptist Church is part of the Eastern Baptist Association which is a family of Baptist Churches situated throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. The regional association has a team of regional ministers and administration staff that support the local church pastorally, advise on mission and practical matters and organise beneficial training events and every church contributes in their own unique way by taking part in enriching relationships, developing ministry and enabling fruitful mission in its own area.