The Seed is a Christian Fellowship and offers so much more for the local community, charity help abroad and our faith in prayer and support. There’s much more to the Seed than we can show but Baptisms, Communions to our Ministry and Service but if you would like to be part of our growing fellowship please get in touch.
We are a small group of followers of Jesus Christ who meet together to worship God, encourage one another and BE His people where we live in the South West of the UK. We also travel and minister in various churches in the region and further afield, and have a great time with them preaching, teaching, leading worship, taking services and so on.
The Bible uses the metaphor of a seed in a number of ways :
- Jesus tells a story about a farmer who scatters seed which falls on different types of ground, and when asked by the disciples about it, explains that the seed represents the word of God (Luke 8:11). The word of God is also described as a seed in 1 Peter 1:23, when Peter writes to the believers that they have been born again not of perishable seed, but imperishable – the living word of God.
- Jesus also talks about the kingdom of God being like a seed which grows all by itself (Mark 4:26-29).
- The Apostle Paul writes in Corinthians that he planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but it was God who gave the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
- The Mustard seed is described as the smallest seed, yet we are assured that if our faith is as big as a mustard seed, we can achieve great things (Matthew 17:20).
- We ourselves are also described as seeds. Referring to God’s promise to Abram that his descendants or “seed” would be as numerous as the stars, Paul writes in Galatians that we are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29)
We feel that just as a seed has everything in it to grow to become the plant God intended, we ourselves are a seed, and as we travel, we believe that we are planting seeds everywhere we go. We feel it fitting then, that we call ourselves The Seed.
On our site you will find all sorts of information about who we are and what we do. We post up audio files of our preaches for as many Sundays as we can. After 6 months, to preserve space on our server, these get archived and removed. We do keep copies locally and they can be emailed to you on request.
The SeedFaith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid, is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. In the context of religion, one can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief. The Seed has so much Faith in all that we do, in all that we share.The Seed meet for Prayer every week. The community gathers for strength, sharing in prayer for others, for family, friends and a better world that we share. Prayer in numbers or prayer in solitude.Our Community is growing. The Seed values each and every person who joins us in prayer, in need or to share happiness and well being among everyone.
Community & Support
In September 2014, Julian & Wendy Richards and Steve & Sarah Stotesbury started praying and meeting together. A number of people joined us and a small community developed. In the summer of 2016, we felt it right to start meeting more “formally” on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings since that time.
The Bible uses a number of metaphors to describe believers, and we feel that each one helps us to understand what it means to follow Jesus together…
In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes to Christians who are dividing over minor issues (read 1 Corinthians 1:10-12), and in his letter, he declares that he had “resolved to know nothing but Christ Jesus and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). There can be many different shades of belief about all sorts of aspects of the Christian faith, but the most important belief is this one… Jesus Christ died to save sinners (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:10). For us this is our bottom line, we are not willing to reject anyone who has a different “take” on some other more minor point of faith..
Community & Support
- Armour of God #2 (The breastplate of righteousness)This weekly blog is the script of Julian’s slot on a radio show that is produced by Keith Trask and transmitted on Seabird radio, Wave W-s-M, West Coast Radio in NZ, Glastonbury FM, and Keith has just started transmitting on Sunshine 1049 in Belfast. Please DO check out one of the shows which are available at various times throughout the day, and you can also find the shows on mixcloud by searching Keith Tee This week’s item on Keith’s radio show is the breastplate of righteousness … Today we are back with the armour of God, looking at the next item of armour – the breastplate of righteousness. When we talk about the armour of God, we are using the imagery of the armour a Roman soldier would typically wear in battle – a breastplate would covered the vital organs, and particularly the heart. It was fitted with loops or buckles that attached it to a thick belt. We talked about the belt last week, but we don need to note that if the belt wasn’t on properly, the breastplate would slip off. So the belt and the breastplate are a matched pair as it were, so righteousness and faith are likewise a matched pair. We get our righteousness by faith in Jesus. The Bible says Jesus himself is our righteousness, so Paul can write in 1 Corinthians 1:30 that we are in “Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” Putting on the armour of God requires a decision on our part. To put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must buckle the belt of truth firmly into place. Without truth, our righteousness slips and we start basing it on our own values and not Gods. But our understanding of what is righteous falls way short of God’s and what’s more, our righteousness is worthless before him, so Isaiah 64:6 can say ”All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” So when we are putting on the breastplate of righteousness, we are acknowledging that we are not righteous enough, and that we relying on him. We are quite literally clothing ourselves in Christ;Romans 13:14 says “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”Galatians 3:27 says we who were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ. In other words we are acknowledging that, apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (that’s what John 15:5 says). We see ourselves as “in Christ” and that, regardless of our failures, His righteousness has been credited to our account. so … HOW do we put on the breastplate of righteousness? The key is found in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus says seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. We put Him first, we try to follow His will and live the life He calls us to live. We surrender to the Lordship of Jesus and He becomes our […]
- Armour of God #1 (The belt of truth)Don’t forget that this weekly blog is the script of Julian’s slot on a radio show that is produced by Keith Trask and transmitted on Seabird radio, Wave W-s-M, West Coast Radio in NZ and Glastonbury FM. Please DO check out one of the shows. Seabird, Wave and Glastonbury FM are all based in the UK and can be heard on the internet, Glastonbury FM also transmits in and around Glastonbury on 107fm. West Coast Radio is in Auckland NZ. You can also find the shows on mixcloud by searching Keith Tee This week’s transmission is about the Belt of Truth Last week I looked generally and made some general comments about the section which is known as “the Armour of God”. This week I want to start tackling each item of armour which Paul mentions, and consider what we might learn from it. This week we are looking at the belt of truth which Paul says we should fasten on.What is truth? A good question for us to answer this morning.The Oxford English Dictionary defines truth as “The quality or state of being true”Which isn’t over helpful unless we define what true means: in accordance with fact or reality: accurate or exact: loyal or faithful: chiefly archaic honest: It is interesting to note that this is no longer what popular culture sees as truth. Today truth is relative. People talk about “my” truth and “your” truth. There is no longer “the” truth. This means that everyone is right and can live according to their “own” truth, an echo of the attitudes of people in the time of the Judges which in more than one place records that “everyone did as he saw fit in his own eyes”. This is exactly the kind of culture we have now. Everyone determines for himself what is right and wrong, what is true and false. Nowadays people no longer have the right to criticise someone else’s truth. However, one thing “real” truth CANNOT be is relative. Truth, by its nature MUST apply to everything. We cannot function if this isn’t the case. Laws don’t work, you cannot do science or know anything at all if all truth is relative. If something is true, by definition, it MUST be true for all. One thing it cannot be is true for me but not for you. Truth is exactly the opposite of all that Satan is – you cannot get much further from him than by surrounding yourself in truth! – John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. So truth is an important thing to grasp At His trial before Pilate, Jesus said “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37) and pilate’s response to this is “but […]
- Ephesians 6 – the armour of GodThis week on Keith’s radio show, Julian comes to the section in Ephesians which is fairly familiar to lots of Christians. Titled in many bibles “The Armour of God”, this week introduces a “mini series” looking at each item in turn…. as we come toward the end of our series in Ephesians, we come to a section in the letter which in many Bibles is titled the armour of God. This morning, I want to make a few general comments about it, and then over the next few weeks, we’ll delve into each item and consider that. So for this morning I just want to make three general comments … Firstly the passage tells us what our enemy is like – we cannot fight an enemy we don’t know.Secondly, we are told what armoury there is at our disposal;Thirdly we are told how we should use it. If we really want to be effective in the battle against Satan, then we need to learn these lessons. Know your enemy “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood…..” (v12)The nature of our enemy is spiritual, as Paul says “in the heavenly realms”. If we fail to realise this, we have lost before we even start, because we are trying to fight in the wrong place.Our struggle is in the last resort a Spiritual one. If we want to win the battle we are fighting, it is no good fighting only on a physical plane. We cannot change people’s hearts by laying down laws that will curb their behaviour – but if the Holy Spirit changes their hearts, then their behaviour will change as a result!Likewise if we are struggling with a particular problem, then fighting it on a physical level is usually (not surprisingly) ineffective.“…so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (v11) … “…the flaming arrows of the evil one” (v16) Choose your armoury “put on the full armour of God ….” (v11, 13)Military – practice practice practice. before battle commences. Certainly we were given our personal weapon (mine was an SLR) and we had to learn to strip, clean and reassemble it so that we could do it in the dark and under pressure. If you can’t use your weapon in peacetime, then you certainly won’t be able to do it in a war zone. Understanding how to use this spiritual armoury is vital. We would do well to get to grips with it now when we’re in relative peace, because when we’re under pressure for some reason, it needs to be second nature for us.Paul wrote this letter under armed guard – you can picture him can’t you, looking at his guard, a roman soldier and seeing the armour he was wearing as he writes, so he lists here some items of armour and weapons to equip yourself with and over the next few weeks, I am going to consider each one and what significance it has.But for this morning, we can just note that God has left us on this earth to do His will, but he hasn’t left us defenceless, he has given us an armoury […]
- Wives SUBMIT?!! (Ephesians 5v22-33)Each week, Keith Trask, one of our members produces a radio show that is transmitted on Seabird radio, Wave W-s-M, West Coast Radio and Glastonbury FM. Julian is privileged to be involved by recording a short “thought for the day” which is used in the show. This is the “script” (edited slightly to make easier reading) for this week’s show. I will upload the script every week, but please DO check out one of the shows. Seabird, Wave and Glastonbury FM are all based in the UK and can be heard on the internet, Glastonbury FM also transmits in and around Glastonbury on 107fm. West Coast Radio is in Auckland NZ. You can also find the shows on mixcloud by searching Keith Tee Julian is currently working through Ephesians, and this is the script Julian used … “Hey all, in today’s foray into Ephesians, we come to perhaps open of the most controversial passages there is in Paul’s writings. It is the passage which twice says “women should submit to their husbands”! Tackling this can be a bit like going into no man’s land or walking through an active minefield where at any moment you could step onto a mine by making a statement which blows up in your face!I am a married man and I’m not nearly brave enough to tackle this head on, so, I am going to dance around the mines this morning and use this passage to help us to understand some of the rules or techniques we can use when considering what Scripture says. Rule 1. Do not assume that our modern understanding of a word is the meaning Paul has in mind. It may have, but we cannot ASSUME this, we must always be conscious that if words can change in their meaning and use within our own lifetimes (the word “Gay” for example), how much more careful should we be when looking at a document written 2,000 years ago? So for example here, the word “submit” in the 21st century carries with it an almost entirely negative understanding, specifically that submission implies a stronger party has overpowered a weaker one and there is some form of duress and consequently no choice. Yet throughout Ephesians Paul has been talking about the importance of unity and preferring one another, he has only just told them to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, so in this instance, it is at least possible, and probably very likely that for Paul, submission is voluntary, not coerced at all. Rule 2. We must also remember that the Bible was not written in our modern languages. The Bible we have is a translation from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, and in some cases, translated from a Latin translation, which makes it a translation of a translation. Just as in translating from one language to another can be problematic, so in many instances, translating from the original language may well mean that the words chosen do not convey the whole meaning of the original language. Some versions of our bible will recognise this by adding footnotes which explain alternative […]
- Spiritual WORSHIP (Ephesians 5v18,19)Each week, Keith Trask, one of our members produces a radio show that is transmitted on Seabird radio, Wave W-s-M, West Coast Radio and Glastonbury FM. Julian is privileged to be involved by recording a short “thought for the day” which is used in the show. This is the “script” (edited slightly to make easier reading) for this week’s show. I will upload the script every week, but please DO check out one of the shows. Seabird, Wave and Glastonbury FM are all based in the UK and can be heard on the internet, Glastonbury FM also transmits in and around Glastonbury on 107fm. West Coast Radio is in Auckland NZ. You can also find the shows on mixcloud by searching Keith Tee In Ephesians we read Paul talking about worship, he says this ..Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everybody worships something. Whatever captivates our heart’s affection, our mind’s attention and our soul’s ambition, it effectively has our worship. I could spend hours looking at other definitions of worship, the Greek and Hebrew words and what they mean, and it would be fascinating for a while. However, there’s a danger in overanalysing: we might be tempted to reduce worship to just another ‘activity’ that we do when we meet together. Usually in the UK when people come out of a church and say, “That wasn’t worship” what they really mean is, “I didn’t like the songs” If worship is central in the Scripture, we should make it central in our lives. I want to make just a few comments from this passage about worship and what it is: Firstly, worship is a spiritual activity. Paul says be filled with the Spirit, he says sing songs from the Spirit, Jesus says to the woman at the well in the account we read in John 4 that true worshippers worship God in Spirit and in truth. Never underestimate the significance of worshipping God, the power it has in your life and the effect it has in the heavenly realms. Secondly, Paul talks of speaking to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and he says we should sing and make music from our heart to the Lord. Even a cursory read through the Bible – and especially the psalms reveals that music plays a very important role in our worship. Read 1 Chronicles 15:16, and see the musical instruments listed there … also read Psalm 150; Trumpet; Harp; Lyre; Tambourine; Strings; Flute; Cymbals, Pipes. We can also see that worship is both corporate “one another” (Hebrews 10:24 & 2 Chronicles 29:28) and personal – in fact from the heart (Romans 12:1, Matthew 14:23) and And lastly, worship is directed towards God and involves giving thanks to Him – Paul says “for everything”. You might think that you have nothing to worship God for, […]
- All News is PropagandaWendy my wife recently posted a link to a video by Prager University, (which is very open about the fact it has a conservative world view) about renewable sources of energy. The video presented an opinion that renewable forms of energy are not nearly as environmentally friendly as is being presented in the popular media. One person commented on Wendy’s stream implying that “source” is biased and therefore not to be trusted. Over the last few years I have also seen reports of all sorts of atrocities being inflicted on Christian believers throughout the Middle East, yet despite the massive news coverage of the events in the Middle East in general, these reports are nowhere to be found in mainstream media but only in the Christian press. Following discussions I have had with unbelieving friends about Christian press being “biased” and “agenda driven”, I have been watching the news and current affairs programmes on SKY, BBC and ITV with an eye to discerning how unbiased it actually is. I have not been surprised to see that ALL news programmes are biased. We all to some degree suffer from “confirmation bias” and view the world around us through a filter which confirms our own world view. The news is no different. They not only make choices about WHAT they report on (ever noticed that the vast bulk of the news we see is bad?), they also put a spin on and try to influence our perception of what is happening around the world by HOW they choose to report on it. Do not be deceived, every news or current affairs item you ever see has been carefully selected, produced and edited to ensure you only see and hear what the newscaster wants you to see and hear, and to portray the news in a way which reinforces a particular world view. I have found myself starting to view our popular broadcast media as “opinion dressed up as news”, which at times will be less or more accurate. We must be very aware of our own bias which can give rise to cultural or ideological blindness which results in our dismissing all views which do not agree with our own.So, we must demonstrate wisdom about how we watch and read news reports – whatever their source. When we know the bias of a particular news source, we are more able to filter the bias and get to the truth much more easily. When a news source recognises and is open about its own bias, we can do that more easily. Therefore I would suggest the most insincere and least trustworthy news sources to look at are those which make claims to “impartiality”, which frankly does not exist in the media. Try to know and understand your own biases, that way you can recognise which bits of your reaction to a news item comes from your own ideology and bias, and thereby be more understanding of other viewpoints. Try also to recognise that even a biased organisation is capable of reporting truth, and judging the accuracy or otherwise of something based solely on […]
- Live CAREFULLY (Ephesians 5v15,16)Each week, Julian records a “thought” for The Sunday Hour, a show which is transmitted online and through FM on 4 different radio stations; Seabird Radio, Wave WSM, GFM and West Coast radio, this is the transcript/notes for the recording made which was broadcast on Sunday 13th September: There is a phrase I often hear people say – it “you only live once”, I get what people mean, that they only have one life, and it’s important not to waste it. Paul agrees, he says in todays foray into the letter to the Ephesians …“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”Life doesn’t happen by accident, Paul calls us all to think carefully and take care about how we live our lives. Ephesians is an immensely practical book, Paul yet again makes a connection between our faith and our lifestyle, and I want to pick up on a few points. It is in our own power to choose how we will live. We live in an era where so many people spend so much time and effort and energy blaming everyone else for their lot in life, whether it’s blaming our ancestors for the inequalities in our culture, or governments for the bad exam results our children get or big businesses for the pollution and climate change, it seems like every problem we encounter nowadays is someone else’s fault. Paul says this “be very careful how YOU live YOUR life”, we cannot control what others do to us, we had no choice over when and where or to who we were born, but we CAN control ourselves, and I don’t know about you, but I know my own heart and character, and I suspect that people go to inordinate lengths to control others because they can’t or won’t control themselves! Scripture says to us all every man is responsible for how he lives His life. Will YOU take responsibility for YOUR life? Paul says she should live not as unwise but as wise people. So, what does Godly wisdom look like? Well the first thing to say is that Proverbs tells us that wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver (Proverbs 16v16), secondly, Godly wisdom is not the same as worldly wisdom, which generally speaking relies on clever thinking and clever arguments, but Godly wisdom, we are told is different .. 1 Corinthians 3v19,20 says “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” Jesus highlighted these differences in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). For example, He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Godly wisdom often means curbing our natural inclinations and doing what is right in god’s sight. Godly wisdom goes against the “conventional wisdom” of the day; it is not focused on self-preservation but on furthering the kingdom of God. We can live wisely in God’s […]
- Does our belief change reality?If God doesn’t exist, does my belief magically bring Him into existence? Clearly this is a “no brainier” the answer very obviously is NO, it doesn’t. No matter how passionately I believe God exists, the strength of my belief will not change the reality of whether or not he exists. Someone may say, “But you’re a Christian! – you seem to be arguing with atheists not against them”. Well, let’s think about this for a moment .. This same truth also holds for the atheist – his BELIEF that God doesn’t exist affects the existence of God not one iota. Whether or not God actually exists or not is in NO WAY affected by belief or lack of it. God either exists or he doesn’t. Whether, like me you believe He exists, or like Richard Dawkins and others you are convinced he doesn’t, or whether you are trying to keep your options open by not committing yourself one way or the other, not of those positions will change that fact one way or the other. The evidence for the existence of God is all around us and within us as well (the incredible complexity of DNA and the irreducible complexity of some organisms for example), but people are so keen to rule themselves, they reject this evidence and do exactly that. Belief or lack of belief in God is rarely based on facts and evidence, it is more frequently based on what we want to believe. As Blaine Pascal said “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” You have a choice to make. If I am wrong and you are right and God doesn’t exist … well, nothing. Neither you nor I will ever know that you were right. If I am right and you are wrong and God DOES exist, we both will one day find out that I am right. But the consequences for each of us are massively different. (Incidentally, when an atheist states “I am not saying God doesn’t exist, I merely lack a belief that he does”, the only thing he is making a comment on is his own state of mind, his OWN belief. He is saying NOTHING about reality and consequently is making no statements at all about the existence of God at all one way or the other)