Fellowship | Worship | Witness | History of BCF | BCF Committee |
In 1995 Nottingham couple Alan and Hazel Dilnot, who owned a canal boat and were committed Christians, wanted to get in touch with other like minded people and wrote a letter to Waterways World magazine. They had a good response, and in November 1995 held a meeting where 30 people gathered, and the Boaters' Christian Fellowship was formed.
From the start, BCF members became involved in public events like the IWA National, and work was started on the BCF church directory. BCF members started to become involved at local rallies but, having little recognition at first, sometimes had to persuade and plead to be allowed to introduce a Christian presence to these events.
We started to produce our own literature such as Still Waters and The Sword, and children's literature Friends Afloat, Bertie the Boat, etc., while the BCF magazine (The BCF Word) has won awards. Organisations such as the Inland Waterways Association and the Canal and River Trust no longer have a problem with our presence at events, and sometimes invite us to become involved in specific ways. In recent years we have taken part in several week-long missions around the waterways, in collaboration with local churches and with Canal Ministries.
Growth has been steady, and there are currently around 600 members. The BCF logo is now a familiar sight on boats up and down the country. Since 2004 we have been a registered charity No 1101100 with our own constitution.
At the AGM in 2015, Alan and Hazel stepped down from their position as joint chair of the committee. BCF is immensely grateful to them for their 20 years of leadership, and for the initial vision that got it all going in the first place.