About us

Our vision and values

We’re a large, ordinary and diverse local church in Beeston, on the west side of Nottingham.

Our services are fairly informal and accessible, centred around a commitment to teaching the good news of Jesus from the Bible in a way that enriches the faith of those who follow Jesus and enables others to explore the Christian faith.

Our vision is to ‘Glorify God through lives transformed by the gospel’ .

Our values describe the kind of church we aim to be, glorifying God together as lives are transformed. 

Loving God: Glorifying God the Father as we joyfully respond to his Word, depend on Him and delight in Him.

Loving the Gospel: Passionate about seeing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ transforming every aspect of our lives and the lives of others.

Loving People: Growing together by the power of God’s Spirit, a blessing to the wider church and to others.

You can find out more about this here.

Our aims

We’re a local church.

Since our earliest days we’ve been a church serving both the nearby University and the town of Beeston to the west of Nottingham.

Three congregations meet each Sunday at Salthouse Lane; witharound 500 people come in through the day. Very many of those who attend live within walking distance of the building.

The members of our church are involved in various community organisations, sports clubs, the local schools and other events. We seek to be good neighbours where we live, work and play.

University Halls surround our building make it very easy for UK and International students to walk through our doors. In partnership with the University Christian Union and Friends International we seek to give students the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus.

Our desire to serve the many communities within our town led us to plant Rylands Community Church in Beeston Rylands area five years ago, where a number of our members live. We anticipate this being the first of several church plants in the years ahead as we seek to bring the good news of Jesus to those around us.

We work alongside other like-minded churches in our city through the Midlands Gospel Partnership, and with Christian organisations such as Crossteach and TLG who work in local schools.

We aim to have a national focus

About 50% of our congregation is with us for 5 years less, moving on all around the UK and across the world.

It is our aim to train and equip people to understand and teach God’s word and be able to teach others both for local ministry but also to be sent to serve in other churches across the nation.

We seek to play our part in the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, a family of over 600 churches across the country, in training, church planting and other ways. We’re involved with Biblical Counselling UK helping establish Christ-centred pastoral care in local churches.

We aim to be a global church.

We estimate that about a quarter of those who worship with us come from twenty different nations around the world. The good news of Jesus is for all peoples from all nations, and we love the opportunity to cross cultures and learn from one another.

A long standing part of the DNA of our church has been a commitment to sending members to serve overseas, and we currently have mission partners serving in Brazil, Madagascar, Australia, with others based in Europe and the Middle East. Our mission partners serve in different kinds of mission: with vulnerable young people, with students, in medical mission, in Bible colleges and among unreached people groups.

Our beliefs

We’re a non-denominational church gathered around a commitment to the good news of Jesus. We build our church life around the Bible, which is taught in all our services.

We uphold the basis of faith of the FIEC, and our practice is reflected in their ethos statements.

Our leaders and staff

Our church is led by a team of elders who, together with a team of deacons, serve as the trustees of the church.

We employ a team of ministers and other staff who are available answer any questions you may have.

George Hawkins (senior minister)

George is a Nottingham University graduate who came to Beeston Free as student before spending fifteen years working as an actuary in Southampton before training for ministry in the USA. George has been back at Beeston since 2012. George leads the ministry team and has particular responsibility for Women’s Ministry and Global Mission.

Dave Bish (associate minister)

Dave previously worked with University Christian Unions for 13 years across the south of England before joining the ministry team here in 2016. Dave is responsible for our Home Groups and UK Student Ministry and Men’s ministry.

John Goodwin (assistant minister)

John grew up in Beeston before going away to study at university. He returned to Nottingham to work as a teacher before joining the team here in 2014. John is responsible for our International and Youth ministry

Stephen Baraniak

Steve leads Rylands Community Church, a congregation of Beeston Free Church.

Becky Thomas (operations manager)

Becky first arrived in Nottingham as a student. She joined the staff team in 2010 and oversees the practical aspects of running the church.

Ele Hawkins (Communications), Ruth Evans (Finance), Zena Schofield (Biblical Counselling Coordinator), James Thomas (Children’s Work Coordinator), Anne Macgregor (Music Coordinator). We have four trainees who are spending a year working with us – Yong En Chua, Ed Sadler, Callum Pike and Hayley Martin.

Our friends

We’re an independent church who seek to work in partnership with others.

We are part of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. This diverse group of churches across the UK share a common commitment to the Bible and the good news of Jesus.

Regionally, we’re part of the Midlands Gospel Partnership, seeking to plant churches and train people for gospel ministry. We also work alongside Crossteach, UCCF and TLG.

We have mission partners in South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, partnering with a number of mission agencies including UFM, SIM, WEC and AIM.

Our story

Seventy five years ago Yorkshireman Tom Jones and his friends purchased a plot of land to enable a new church to meet. This land was on the edge of the town and adjacent to the parkland local businessman Jesse Boot had recently given to establish the University of Nottingham. Today the building on Salthouse Lane stands on the main thoroughfare between the University and the town centre in a densely populated area.

You can find out more about our history here

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