An interesting meeting was held at Vine Church on 28th September with representatives from Vine (Ilford), Barking, Wanstead, Gants Hill and Grange Park.
After devotions, each church had an opportunity to deliver their news. Gants Hill is selling the Old Hall and this was going to plan. Vine mentioned their holiday club, their multi-faith pilot's group and an upcoming shared harvest supper with the local methodist church. Redbridge council had communicated with them concerning extreme Right-Wing activity in the area.
Barking had a "make lunch" for children during the school holiday who would normally have school dinners. This was considered a good opportunity to meet their neighbours. They are working closely with King's Church and some of the congregation have transferred their membership to the URC.
Wanstead had a successful Macmillan Coffee Morning, Harvest and shared lunch, and a jumble sale. They are now preparing for their Christmas Bazaar and an elder's away day.
Grange Park organised a successful trip to Bournemouth, which was open to all members of the ELG. They are currently preparing to bring new people into membership.
Joe Amoah was given an excellent send-off as he starts his vocation in ministry studying at Westminster College.
Regarding the vacancy, the URC manse has had a quotation of £140,000 to bring the Manse up to standard rejected. A rethink by David Skipp has reduced the cost the £35,000, which will now be presented to the Resources Committee. Also, 129 Fyfield, the manse of Shahbaz is being sold and the hope is that Synod will provide Shahbaz with new accommodation.
The ELG Special Fund has opened a bank account and a request for donations will be sent to all churches. The purpose of the fund is to help finance projects, such as funding a youth worker and other community projects.
Barking URC requested funding to repair their roof and drainage following their quinquennial. The meeting supported that Barking request £16,879 from the resources committee for the improvements but also ask for a higher figure to cover the whole cost of the major repairs and drawdown as appropriate.
Claude, the pastor of Seven Kings Baptist/URC, is to present a paper requesting their need of a fulltime church worker. This is to be taken to the Resources Committee via the Discipleship Committee.
Next year, it has been proposed that members of the ELG go on Bradwell Prilgimage on the first Saturday in July. Grace from Wanstead is going to prepare a paper for us with all the advantages of going.
Francis spoke about the Inside Outside initiative, open to Thames North, Southern, Eastern and Wessex Synods. This will be held at Vine URC on 26th October, 10-4 to discuss climate change, diversity and growing poverty.
Wanstead, on 1st December, will be hosting the ELG Christmas service. The evening schedule is 5 pm refreshments, 6 pm service.
Youth Assembly is to be held on 24th-26th January and members of the ELG are considering how to offer support.
We were reminded that Synod is to be held on 9th October and that the next ELG meeting is 23rd November, hopefully, hosted by Grange Park.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon