From the Leadership

March 2019

From the Moderator

I have loved getting to know everyone at MBC better over the past few months and I am so impressed with the amazing, passionate leadership team that you have here. You are really blessed. There is a real sense of excitement in the Church as you are in this time of interregnum, it's a time of reflecting, re-prioritising and clarifying of vision and purpose.

I have been thinking lately about how things have changed for me over the past 8 years ministering at Coulby Newham, when I moved to Coulby I was “called” to pastor the church, and the church felt “called" to “call" me as their pastor. This is the language we used, and will be some of the language you will be thinking of as you pray for a new minister. I now realise that this language actually has some downsides to it. It meant that when I arrived I saw my primary call as caring for the Church and leading church events, it was a really good time but if I am honest it was a little bubble of me and my church. However over the next couple of years God really lifted my head up to see that my call wasn’t ever as simple as "to the Church" but it was to Middlesbrough. The land where God had brought me. A land that He loves and has kingdom dreams for. As soon as I realised my call was for Middlesbrough and its people, it transformed the way I went about everything. I discovered that I was called to lead the Church into kingdom impact to Middlesbrough. It's a subtle difference of calling but very important. It changed the direction of everything I did. My Church wasn’t the mission field, Middlesbrough was. The Church were my partners, co-labourers, team and family that are sent into the mission field with me. I wasn’t sent to the Church, we ARE THE CHURCH and we were sent into the mission field together. As you seek Gods future for your Church, as you meet with prospective ministers try and not ask “who is called to our Church” and instead ask “who is called to join us and lead us into our mission field”. Its subtle, but it will change your focus entirely, and it will shape the future of MBC significantly.

May God bless you and guide you every step of the way.

Rev Stephen Sutton

February 2019

From the Leadership Team

Dear Friends,


On at least two recent occasions we have been challenged as to how we view ourselves as a church.  How does God see us?  How does God see His church on Teesside?


Steve Sutton has produced a short video entitled ‘We are one church – transforming Teesside together’.  Sally Middleton shared this video with us when she visited in December and we will view it again on future occasions.  If you haven’t seen it yet please go to or ask someone to show it to you.


God sees His church on Teesside as all of the 130-plus churches that name His name.  We may have different expressions of worship and community life. However, together we are called to bring God’s Kingdom to the people of Teesside.  Our church is part of this.  We may be relatively small in number – but we have people and resources that God needs to be available for His service.  We are part of God’s plan for bringing His Kingdom to the people of Teesside.


God wants us to be salt and light in the communities in which we have been placed – amongst our friends, neighbours, families and colleagues.


May God help us see the bigger picture of His role for the church on Teesside – and may we be faithful in playing our part in the work of His Kingdom.