The latest East London Group URC meeting was held on Saturday 23rd November 2019 at Grange Park URC. It was a good meeting where all participants were greeted with tea or coffee and pastries; always a good start! Francis and Shahbaz were chairing the meeting and representatives from Gants Hill, Vine, Walthamstow United Reformed Asian Church and Grange Park were in attendance.
Shahbaz opened the meeting by thanking everyone for the prayers for his father and our continued prayers are requested as he is still seriously ill. Pastoral news, as well as activities, were shared from each of the churches.
John Danzo has had to stand down as interim moderator so that he can take care of his grandson who is ill at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Shahbaz, alongside being the minister at Walthamstow Asian Church, Wanstead and Grange Park, is to be the interim moderator at Vine. Pilots is to continue and local schools are starting to visit.
The Lighthouse Church is moving to bigger premises but the hope is another church will be moving in shortly and, therefore, help with rent. There is the possibility of another nursery using their facilities. They have inducted a new elder and new members with three more in the pipeline. They hold a children's club, which can have anything between three to nine children. They also have a new noticeboard.
Joshua spoke about the Worship Night, which attracted more than 70 people from the Asian community. Congratulations to Joshua for organising such as successful evening and there is the talk of another function in the new year.
The Gants Hill website is continually attracting new viewers. Currently, the website has been visited by over 820 people. An application to the resources committee for the release of funds, so that much-needed renovations can be done on the church hall, is soon to be sent and the ELG reconfirmed their support of the various works needed.
On Saturday 7th December, the Gants Hill Bazaar will be held from 10 am to 2 pm.
Francis advised that some people were looking at the profiles but no more could be said. In connection with the manses: the property development of the Vine manse is progressing well; the old manse at Fyfield Road has now been cleared and is on the market this week. There has, so far, been no comment from the synod concerning the purchase of new manse for Shahbaz, which is disappointing.
Donations to the fund, which is entitled ELG Project Account, at Barclays Bank are welcomed. Gants Hill pledged £500 and Grange Park are having collections to add to the fund as well as individual donations. If people do credit the account, it would be useful to let Rhona Lawrenson know so that she can keep track of the funds.
Much work has been done on this paper and at the next meeting, we should finally have the wording correct in conjunction with great work by Hilda and Grace.
United Christmas Carol Service
This is to be held at Wanstead URC on 1st December. There will be light refreshments at 5 pm followed by the service at 6 pm. All the churches have been asked to send in suggestions for hymns and readings, ensuring that this is a joint effort.
This will take place from 24th-26th January under the titled Common Ground: Where is it?
Just a reminder to update and review our safeguarding policies, making sure they have the named coordinator visible.
This exciting venture will be from 5th April - 7th April 2020. All are welcome.
There are seven nationally accredited lay-preachers based at Tottenham. If any churches need to support in pulpit supply, the should contact John Campbell who can put us in contact with potential preachers.
The conference called Inside Outside occurred on 26th October and was very well received with particular focus on how each church could become more eco-friendly. One of the main ideas was for churches to change their energy suppliers to more sustainable suppliers. There were various workshops that people could attend: Celebrating Diversity; Poverty in the UK; Climate Change Changes Everything; and Media Representation of Young People, Refugees and Asylum Seekers. There was a variety of activities, music by the Seven Kings Gospel Choir and the whole day was considered to be a great success.
Churches Together in Essex and East London, where our moderator Andrew Prasad is one of the trustees, are looking to develop stronger relationships with churches in the region. Their new website is www.cteel.org.uk It offers insights to help connections grow and there is also a Facebook page: @ChurchesTogetherEEL
The pilgrimage to Bradwell-on-Sea will take place on Saturday 4th July and the next ELG meeting will take place on 29th February 2020, hosted by Walthamstow Asian Church.
The meeting finished with tea, coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Some very hot spicy lentil soup was also on offer, which when combined with some very spicy Christmas-like wine, definitely made you feel like your mouth was on fire and impersonations of dragons followed! Our thanks go to all those who involved with the catering, particularly Hilda who made the soup and wine.
We are happy for you to use any material found here, however, please acknowledge the source: www.gantshillurc.co.uk
Rev'd Martin Wheadon