KNAPHILL Baptist Church has a new minister after bidding a fond farewell to the outgoing clergyman.
Rev Julia Binney was recently inducted to the Pastorate of the church by the Rev Stuart Davison (left with Julia), the South Eastern Baptist Association Regional Minister.
A packed church celebrated Julia’s arrival with a joyful and moving Induction Service, which somehow managed to combine serious moments with lots of fun and laughter.
The introduction was led by Rev Mike Stanbrook (the moderator at the church for the past year) in his own inimitable, freewheeling style, while Rev Dr John Colwell preached a short sermon exploring the vital nature of ‘Servant Leadership’, and what it really means for the local church to serve God and the community.
Other contributions came from the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Anne Murray, Rev Harry Place (the Senior Pastor of Dorchester Baptist Church), and the ministers and clergy of the local Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic Churches.
Julia is the first female Pastor in the Knaphill church’s long history. In her 20s, after studying economics at Essex University, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Hotel & Catering Management, Julia successfully ran several popular nightclubs in London and the Home Counties.
Shortly before her 30th birthday, however, she experienced a life changing moment when she came to faith in Christ at an Anglican Church in Twickenham.
Over the next few years her life took a radical change of direction. She met and married her husband Jim (also a Baptist Minister) and, after serving God together in churches in Worcestershire and Birmingham, felt called by God to the Baptist Ministry herself.
After training at Spurgeon’s College, London (where she gained a Master’s Degree in Theology), she became Associate Minister (alongside her husband) at Beckenham Baptist Church, Kent in 2004.
In 2010, following a period of illness, Julia and Jim ‘retired’ to West Dorset where they became active members of Dorchester Baptist Church.
The sense of ‘call’ to ministry remained very strong, however, and when Julia received an invitation to the Pastorate of Knaphill Baptist Church in the autumn of 2015, she was delighted to accept this opportunity to serve (with Jim’s support) this ‘small but enthusiastic’ group of people.
Known for her skills as an excellent preacher, caring pastor, and intuitive worship leader, 57-year-old Julia is looking forward to serving not only her new congregation but also the people of Knaphill in general.