some answers to your questions regarding

Written by Phil Moore (QRC, Wimbledon) and Simon Virgo (King’s Church, Kingston)
Kingston Baptist Church has been declining in size for quite some time. At the request of its outgoing lead
pastor, the elders of Queens Road Church began to offer help to the few people who were left. KBC decided to
close its Sunday service in December and have made a historic decision with regards to their future.
1. What was agreed at the KBC Special Church Meeting on Sunday 15th January?
The members of Kingston Baptist Church voted to close this chapter of their history and to open a new one
with the help of Queens Road Church. The existing members all resigned their membership, and before they
did so, they voted Phil Moore in as their lead pastor, the other QRC elders in as their assistant pastors and
deacons, and the six QRC elders and their wives in as the new church membership.
2. So what will this mean for the future of KBC?
The QRC elders have committed to replanting a Sunday worship service in the KBC building as soon as
possible. Given the current state of the church building, this will need to be after renovation works are
completed, which probably means early in 2013.
There is no viable KBC congregation, so QRC will initially establish a new QRC service in Kingston. QRC
currently has two Sunday morning services in Wimbledon and will move to having three Sunday morning
services: two at Queens Road in Wimbledon and one at Kingston Baptist Church.
The long-term aim is for Kingston Baptist Church to stand on its own two feet again. However, this replant is
such a large project that QRC has committed not to cut the church loose before it is ready. We want to build
towards strength rather than weakness, and this may mean being linked together for quite some time.
3. Why didn’t KBC simply give their building to King’s Church Kingston?
Like most Baptist churches, the KBC building is held in trust by the Baptist Union. They were unable to give
their building to King’s Church because it is not a Baptist church, but they were attracted to help from QRC
because it is a Baptist-Newfrontiers church, which King’s Church is not. (Meanwhile, King’s Church has been
in pursuit of a different building, which they feel God has been leading them towards.)
4. Isn’t it a bit strange to have two Newfrontiers churches in Kingston Borough?
Not at all. King’s Church currently gathers 0.1% of the borough on a Sunday morning, and KBC currently
gathers 0.01% of the borough! Kingston borough is home to almost 200,000 people – more than double the size
of Bedford where there are currently 4 Newfrontiers churches!
Given how unchurched most people who live in Kingston borough are, the strange thing to have done would
have been to have said no to KBC and let a church with great potential die.
5. To what degree have the leaders of Queens Road Church and King’s Church worked together in this decision?
Phil Moore met with the King’s Church elders within a week of the members of KBC asking for help. Phil and
Simon Virgo have been in regular meetings and phone contact throughout this decision.
The elders of both churches met together for a whole evening at the start of January in order to weigh this
opportunity together. The meeting ended with the leaders of both churches feeling positive and beginning to
talk about how we might reach Kingston Borough as two churches with a common goal.
6. How important will working together with King’s Church Kingston be for QRC & KBC?
Queens Road has a fantastic relationship with King’s Church. King’s was planted out of Queens Road 20 years
ago and there are many deep friendships across the two churches which go back decades. Both churches are
also firmly committed to the vision of Newfrontiers. Working together is therefore crucially important.
King’s Church has some fantastic momentum of its own, with a major building project likely and with Terry &
Wendy Virgo having recently moved to become part of the church. The QRC elders want to reach Kingston for
Christ alongside King’s Church without hanging onto the King’s Church coat-tails in an unhelpful way!
7. What is the history and background of Kingston Baptist Church?
KBC’s history dates back to the 1660s, when a church was planted by faith in reaction to King Charles II’s Act of
Uniformity in 1662 which threatened to limit the spread of the Gospel. After many fruitful decades, it fell into
decline and was replanted in 1790 by those who had been transformed by John Wesley’s revival. It met from
1790 onwards in a barn on the site of the current Kingston Baptist Church. After more fruitful decades, the
church once more fell into decline and was replanted by one of Charles Spurgeon’s students in 1864. This
student was friends with Charles Ingrem who planted Queens Road Church a few years later. It was this
historic link which made the members of KBC want to turn to the leaders of QRC for help.
8. How will this development affect people at Queens Road Church?
Finance Although the membership of KBC was very small, the church has considerable assets. It already has a
third of the estimated costs of refurbishment in the bank. The church has a claim to the remainder of the money
from another charity, which we will pursue. If that is unsuccessful, then the Baptist Union has agreed to loan
any outstanding funds to KBC at a discounted interest rate.
Staff Workload Like any of the church plants which Queens Road has been involved with over the years, this is
going to require hard work from the Staff Team. However, there is money within KBC to pay for a six-month
project manager to oversee this project for the elders. Talks are in progress – watch this space.
Vision Queens Road Church has had a vision from the time it was planted in 1872 to plant new churches across
Southwest London. Charles Spurgeon instructed the first QRC pastor, Charles Ingrem, in 1880 that “Near to you
at Wimbledon you will find [other places] all needing Gospel work. As soon as you have got your own little church in
working order, start something at each of these places. I’ll help you – go and blaze away.” The elders of Queens Road
are very excited that this is not a distraction from the church’s vision, but a chance to recommit to it.
9. If I am part of Queens Road Church but live in a KT postcode, will I be expected to become part of the third
service at Kingston Baptist Church?
Not at all. The QRC elders let people choose whether to come to the 9:30am or 11:30am services in Wimbledon,
and they will also let people choose whether or not they wish to become part of the service in Kingston.
As launch day approaches, there will be an opportunity for people to sign up to become part of the core team
which will start the new service. The QRC elders expect there to be Kingston people who choose to remain at
Queens Road, and Wimbledon people who choose to travel to Kingston for a pioneering adventure. Some may
even choose to support the launch for the first year before returning to a service back at Queens Road.
10. Will Queens Road Church be looking for members of King’s Church Kingston to join, to help establish the
new plant?
No. As QRC sets out to re-establish KBC, the ambition is not to re-distribute the Christians in Kingston, but to
establish a work which will reach out to those who as yet don’t know Jesus. QRC is replanting KBC in order to
build the Kingdom of God, not a Queens Road empire! The goal is to do the same thing in Kingston as in
Wimbledon: helping unbelievers to come to salvation so that they can love Jesus and live his mission with us.
11. How can I find out more details about this development?
QRC will be hosting an event, called “Pray For This City”, where there will be news and an opportunity to pray
into this development. This will be held from 6:30-8:00pm on Sunday 5th February at Queens Road Church, and
from 6:30-8:00pm on Sunday 4th March at the Kingston Baptist Church building on Union Street.
12. Who can I talk to if I have questions in the meantime?
If you are part of Queens Road Church, then talk to one of the QRC elders. If you are part of King’s Church,
then talk to one of the King’s elders. The leaders of either church will be very happy to answer your questions
as best they can at this stage.
God is good and he has great plans for Southwest London. Thanks for partnering with us in Jesus’ mission!
Phil Moore & Simon Virgo
Lead Pastors, Queens Road Church & King’s Church