Barton Baptist Church

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Mission Trip 2015

At Barton Baptist Church we have a heart to serve our local community but also serve the wider world. More details of trips will be posted here soon.

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Torquay church's Cambodian mission 

Members of a Torquay Baptist church are preparing for a major mission trip where they will be working alongside street children and vulnerable women.

Precious400The 10-strong team from Barton Baptist Church travel to Cambodia for two weeks in November to work with two established ministries there.
It’s the first time1 the church has undertaken such a mission and it came about through a family connection from a couple within the church, as minister Richard Matcham explains. 'Their [the couple’s] daughter attends a church in Victoria, Australia called 'Riviera Christian Centre' (not bad considering Barton is in the 'English Riviera'), and this church have partnered with two ministries in Cambodia for 15 years, so have lots of experience.
'I said wouldn't it be great if we (Barton) partnered with them and joined them on the next possible trip. The couple said it was a great idea and that was that.’

The church is joining two ministries: Transform Cambodia and Precious Women

Transform Cambodia provides street children with an education in English and a meal each day. The families of the children are consequently given rice every month to compensate for the loss of income sustained in removing their child from work.

Women working in the sex industry are taught skills for trade by the ministry, Precious Women. These skills may include hand-crafting items or skills for work in the hair and beauty industry. This ministry helps the women to gain skills for trade outside of the sex industry, whilst keeping safe.

On this first visit, the team go with the mission to see what's going on already; to learn, to pray and to serve as needed.

Richard said, ‘I think our over-riding concern is to walk humbly, listen carefully, pray greatly.’

Barton Baptist sees this as a whole-church mission, adopting the inclusive mantra, 'some people will go; some people will stay; everyone will pray'.

Richard explained how this prayerfulness is central to their collective mission. ‘This way, we include everyone whilst highlighting not only the supreme importance of prayer, but also our collective responsibility as church to pray!’ he said.

Preparing for the mission is another way the church has come together. They have established a prayer-prompter box in preparation for the mission, which means that everyone in the church has someone to pray for.

The team has also been quizzing up on Cambodian history and church members have come up with creative fund-raising activities including hosting a whopping 8 course Cambodian meal.

Baptist Times, 28/07/2015

1 It isn't the first time Barton has been on a mission trip - in 2011 a team went to Kosovo for a short mission trip, and individuals and couples have also been to Kosovo on separate occasions.  We are grateful for all this energy and response to God's missional call.


MEMBERS of a Torquay church are getting ready to travel to Cambodia for two weeks later this year to help a charity' s work with street children.

The minister of Barton Baptist Church, Richard Matcham, and nine other members from the church will go in November on a mission to see the work their partner church in Australia are doing in the Asian country.

Richard said: "We are very much looking forward to it.

"It is a big challenge and we we go with a bit of trepidation.

"We are going on a mission trip to Cambodia to support ministries which support men, women and children who have been rescued out of the slave and sex-trafficking industries.

"About a year ago we decided to partner up with another church. We contacted a church in Australia who have a partnership with a Cambodian church and work with two charities in the country.

"We are going to go out there and see what is going on, and then will support them with their work."

One of the members of the church who is going, Judith Earnshaw, added: "One of the charities work with street children and they currently have 24 centres, with 100 children in each.

"The street children are fed and are given an education. Their families are given a bag of rice to compensate them for the loss of income from them not having to work for their family."

Richard added: "It is amazing how quickly the year is going. We don't know exactly how we will be used when we go out to Cambodia yet, but we are going to support their work and listen, and work alongside them to help out."

All of the members of the church are self-funded, and Richard added the church are holding fundraising events to finance the trip. Anyone wishing to help can either attend one of the events, sponsor the members of the church, or sponsor a child.

Read more:


From Torquay to Cambodia 

Barton Baptist Church recently undertook a mission trip to Cambodia, involving the whole church. Minister Richard Matcham reflects


It is an incredible thing to attempt a full-scale mission trip that includes the whole church! We always knew that all of us should be involved, but that only some of us will go.

Barton is a small-ish Baptist Church in Torquay, and we took ten people on a mission trip to Cambodia in partnership with a church in Australia, who themselves took thirteen people.

We wanted it to be an inspiring time of trusting God for provision, hearing God’s voice, uniting for the team and church, and the like. We didn’t want to merely see the seasoned travellers go, but the unseasoned. We didn’t want those with missions' experience to be the only ones, but those going for the first time. 

Nor did we want only those with the means to go, but also those with no natural means to go. In the end we had a good combination. For those who stayed, they prayed. “Some will go; some will stay; all will pray!” That was our tag-line. 

It was a sweet irony that a Baptist church in the English Riviera partnered with a church in Victoria, Australia, called the ‘Riviera Christian Centre’. This church has been partnered with several ministries within Cambodia for the past fifteen years, and every year, they take more people, young or old, experienced or not, to experience the world of Christian ministry within the format of short-term mission. 

Cambodia was simply breath-taking, amazing people and truly amazing pepper! It was also heart-breaking. The country is a generation from the catastrophe of the Pol Pot era in the 1970s. Thus it is a “young” country, but it is emerging at pace as it faces the future.

The ministries we experienced were connected to the big city church in the capital Phnom Penh (or ‘Phenomenal Penh’ as I like to call it), and two particular ministries: one devoted to the education, feeding, health and nurture of children from very poor backgrounds, called ‘Transform Cambodia’; the other, a ministry that offers support, education and dignity to women and children who had been caught up in the trafficking industries, called ‘Precious Women’.

Every aspect of ministry focus had its historical tragedy, but there was not one without present or future hope. In a country where the Killing Fields have become an open museum and a testament to human evil, there is hope, and a significant part of it is located within what the church is doing, empowered by the Gospel.

Cambodia2Outside the capital, we visited the town of Poipet, on the Thailand border. This border town, displays the usual subsistence-level poverty and great wealth, side-by-side, as it is in many places around the world. Here, we supported the ministry of the church (a plant from the capital), including youth work, preaching, outreach and evangelism, prayer, pastoral ministry and the like. 

There was much here that challenged many on the team, but despite whatever each individual on the team was experiencing, I for one, was so impressed with how the personal difficulties were covered for the sake of the corporate unity and the wider mission. The group held together in a truly astonishing way, even though for some, the difference in culture was challenging!

It is my hope and prayer that, in doing something like this, we gain a fraction more of the Kingdom of God and the wider world. That our churches exist for more than our local communities; that it is good for our local communities to see and know that their local church has done something out of the ordinary. That they are people who take God seriously, that God is not content with mere localism, even if we are; that our horizons must expand if we are to love and serve in a world that desperately needs to experience the love of God in Christ.

A banner of gratitude and thanks hangs at the back of our church from the members budding Christian community in Poipet. It reminds us that Barton Baptist Church is inextricably linked to the worldwide church. And we’ve been there to make and then tell our own stories of the love of Christ!

The Revd Richard Matcham is minister of Barton Baptist Church in Torquay

  Baptist Times, 12/05/2016