Please help a family of Syrian Refugees visit their sons with whom they have been separated for six years.

Reuniting Refugees : Stock image
Leigh Road Baptist Church have been supporting a family of Syrian Refugees for the last two years as their landlords and friends.

Two years ago Mum, Dad and Teenage Daughter came to the UK through the government’s VPRS programme and settled in Southend. They left behind a son who has been living as a refugee in Turkey and another son who was unjustly taken from their home in Aleppo 6 years ago and held in the infamous Adra Prison. This son was finally released six months ago and is now seeking temporary legal sanctuary alongside his brother in Turkey in the hope that one day, in the not too distant future, they will be reunited with the rest of the family here in the UK.

Recently an opportunity has arisen for mum and dad to take their daughter and, the most recent addition to the family, their six month old son, to Turkey to visit their other two sons. This would be the first time the whole family has been together in six years since they left Aleppo (and the first time the two sons will have met their baby brother). Clearly every member of this wonderful family would benefit greatly from being in each other’s company, even if just for a couple of weeks – the ordeal of their separation and the knowledge of the suffering they’ve all faced in different ways throughout that separation has taken its toll on them all and so enabling this visit would be a real act of human solidarity and kindness.

To pay for the visas (which have been granted), the flights and some spending money for internal travel and food we are trying to raise £1800 in a very short period of time – they hope to fly as soon as the schools break up (and have been restricted to school holidays for the sake of their daughter’s education). Anything you can give to this cause would be deeply appreciated by the family.

Thank you.

Please donate securely online via our give.net page: www.give.net/reunitingrefugees 

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New Minister and Team Leader welcomed to Leigh Road Baptist Church

Rev Steve Tinning, Rev Emma Nash and Rev Andrew Cowley

Rev Steve Tinning, Rev Emma Nash and Rev Andrew Cowley – Photo: Steven Paul Collins Photography

A few weeks back on Saturday 28 April 2018, we had a wonderful Induction weekend where we welcomed Rev Andrew Cowley to the ministry team at Leigh Road Baptist Church as the Senior Minister and Team Leader.

It was a wonderful occasion with friends from the community, church and Andrew’s former church at High Street Baptist Church, Tring. We shared in not only the service but also a wonderful hog roast meal (and tasty veggie option) together.

The service was lead by the Rev Steve Tinning and Rev Emma Nash from the current ministry team at the church. We also welcomed Rev Beth Powney, Regional Minister and Team leader of the Eastern Baptist Association who led the induction. It was also lovely to see our church moderator Rev. Nick Lear at the occasion after a recent stay in hospital.

Friends and colleagues from Andrew’s previous ministries were able to pray for Andrew and his wife Rowena in what was a very special time.

It was also our privilege to welcome our local member of parliament Sir David Amess MP and representatives and friends from Leigh-on-Sea Town Council, Churches Together in Leigh-on-Sea and the Southend Area Baptist Network.

Want to know a bit more about who Andrew is?

Andrew is married to Rowena and they share their home with Jasper, the exuberant Jack Russell; they also have two adult children, who live in Hertfordshire. Andrew is passionate about his faith, his family, the local church, flying kites, golf and rugby union.

He is committed to creativity and flexibility as the church plays its part in its community. Andrew has previously been in business and has worked for four UK Charities in a leadership capacity. He also brings wide experience in the UK, and further afield, of mentoring and encouraging other leaders in a commercial context as well as the Church and not-for-profit sectors.

He has previously been a primary school governor and has been involved in the formation and foundation of two charities, and for eight seasons was chaplain at Watford Football club.

Take a look at our meet the team page on the website to find out more about the staff team at Leigh Road Baptist Church. Or of course say hello to Andrew or any of the team on a Sunday and throughout the week, we’d love to say hello.

Thanks to the talented Steven Paul Collins photography for capturing the occasion so well.

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Leigh Road Baptist Church minister speaks at the House of Lords Safe Passage Kindertransport Anniversary Campaign Launch

Steve Tinning speaks at the House of Lords

Leigh Road Baptist Church minister, Steve Tinning spoke at the House of Lords on Wednesday 9 May at the Safe Passage Kindertransport Anniversary Campaign Launch in the company of Lord Dubs, Yvette Cooper MP and other lesser known but equally inspiring heroes of the cause.

Steve was asked to share about the work Leigh Road Baptist Church is doing to support Refugees in Southend-on-Sea and promote the opportunities we all have in the near future to see the UK become a country which is compassionate and welcoming to some of the most vulnerable children in the world.

Steve spoke of two small actions we can all take in the process to help ensure we care as a country for those most vulnerable of children.

  1. Please write to (or ask to meet) your MP and ask them to support Alf Dubs’ amendment to the EU withdrawal bill to include an ongoing commitment to child refugees (comes to House of Commons on 21 May).
  2. Ask your local council to offer places to the Home Office for child refugees should the government open up a legal and fully funded door for them to come to the UK.
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LRBC to host artist Gwen Simpson as Leigh Art Trail event highlights true cost of cheap clothes

Artist Gwen Simpson

THE true price of cheap high street fashion is a subject that artist Gwen Simpson will be highlighting via her mammoth textiles project – and she wants the whole community to get involved during the Leigh Art Trail!

Gwen’s mission is to make 1,130 textile pieces – one for each of the people killed when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed five years ago. Most of the dead were garment workers producing clothes for chains we see on our High Street.

“There have been many tragedies in the textile industry, driven by our demand for cheaper clothing and the fast fashion business itself, but this was by far the deadliest to date,” said Gwen.

“The factory had been declared unsafe the day before, but workers were persuaded to return. Heavy industrial sewing machines on the top five stories, substandard building materials and vibrations from generators used when the electricity failed all contributed to the collapse.”

To honour those who lost their lives and highlight the plight of millions more still subjected to shocking conditions as they make cut-price clothes for Western markets, Gwen is assembling a remarkable textile hanging which will measure 24ft x 9ft.

The centre-piece is deconstructed denim clothing, showing how many components go into a finished item, and now she wants members of the public to join her in stitching more than 1,000 patchwork pieces from recycled fabric to surround it.

“People of all ages are welcome to participate, even if they have never used a needle and thread,” said Gwen, who found she had a flair for making her own clothes when she was an art student.

“The textile pieces measure just 4.5inch x 6inch, so everyone should feel able to have a go. So far my youngest helper was four and the oldest a lady in her 80s.”

It is hoped the finished hanging will be displayed at the prestigious 2019 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, before it is sold to raise money for children orphaned by the Rana Plaza disaster.

Gwen is running workshops for her Connecting Threads project during the Leigh Art Trail at Leigh Road Baptist Church (Monday June 11, 9.30am-3pm and Wednesday June 13, 7pm-10pm), Wesley Methodist Church (Wednesday June 13, 10am-2pm) and Leigh Community Centre (Saturday June 16, 10am-2pm).

The Leigh Art Trail celebrates its 21st year in 2018, showcasing the work of more than 60 artists in local shops, cafes and businesses from June 9-16.

For more information visit www.leigharttrail.com

By Kelly Buckley for Echo-News

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Oasis Coffee House Customers Win Good for Leigh Award

Good For Leigh Award Oasis Suspended Meals Alan Cook April 20, 2018

Alan Cook and Steve Tinning were in attendance on behalf of Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) and Oasis Coffee House at the Leigh-on-Sea Town Council annual ‘Good for Leigh’ awards. The evening  showcased exceptional individuals and groups that had been nominated by members of Council, to thank them for their outstanding contributions to the community of Leigh-on-Sea.

All of the winners were presented with a framed certificate at the Annual Community Meeting on Friday 20th April 2018.

We are pleased to announce that Alan Cook was able to accept an award on behalf of the wonderful customers of LRBC’s Oasis Coffee House who generously donate to our Suspended Meal Scheme.

Oasis Coffee House

For the last few years the church’s Oasis Coffee House has been running a suspended meal scheme, where customers can buy an extra meal or hot drink for those living in food poverty. Oasis also issue vouchers to Southend Foodbank and to 57 West, a local baptist church that gives around 50 to 80 meals to homeless and vulnerably housed people every week. They also work closely with The Storehouse Food Bank and HARP. Since 2015 they have raised over £27,000.

Other winners

Nicholas M

Nicholas Mounsey

Last year Nicholas was witness to a motorbike incident, he remained calm and called the emergency services for the injured party, put them in the recovery position and stayed with them until the ambulance arrived. Nicholas is a shining example of a good citizen and is still only in secondary school.

British Legion

The British Legion – Leigh Branch

The British Legion work tirelessly all year round to promote and raise funds for the poppy appeal, and to clean up the town with regular litter picks. In November 2017 they worked closely with Blade Education to bring poppies to life for children across the Borough.

Uniformed Organisations in Leigh-on-Sea

Uniformed Volunteers in Leigh-on-Sea

The Council wanted to present a Good for Leigh Award to everyone who volunteers for uniformed groups that meet in Leigh-on-Sea, to thank them for all of their hard work in providing activities for young people throughout the Town.
This includes all the leaders and helpers from Girl Guiding Groups (Rainbows, Brownies and Guides) and Scout Groups (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Sea Scouts).

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All are welcome in this place

Emma N and Steve T All are welcome sign
Church Ministers Emma and Steve offering a warm welcome to all in front of our new ‘All are welcome in this place’ sign in the church garden. We have joined with many churches across Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea to display this message outside the places where we gather as church.

Let us build a house where all can dwell
and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell
how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
rock of faith and vault of grace:
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:

All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.

If you are from wider Europe or the wider world and living in Leigh-on-Sea or Southend-on-Sea, you are welcome in this place.

Churches Together in Leigh
www.bigwelcome.org.uk

 

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Church West Ham striker evening nets more than £400 for charity

Brian Dear speaks at BBQ to men in garden

FORMER West Ham striker Brian Dear netted more than £400 for charity when he was the star attraction at the LRBC Men’s Group annual summer barbecue.

Brian, 73, spoke about his days at the popular East End club –  which included the famous European Cup Winner’s Cup 2-0 win against TSV Munich at Wembley Stadium in May 1965.

The former player, who joined the Hammers at the age of 15 as a member of the ground staff, also told of his friendship with West Ham and England legend, the late Bobby Moore.

More than 20 guys turned up to listen to Brian, who is now the manager at The Broker Pub in Leigh -a favourite haunt of the men’s group following their bi-monthly meetings.

Munching on delicious hot dogs, perfectly cooked by talented chef Jamie Currell, the group also heard of the former Hammer’s battle with alcoholism.

And there was a round of applause for the pub manager, who added that he had not touched a drink “for nearly 25 years.”

Brian, who lives in Shoebury. also told how he holds the record for the quickest five goals in an English game, 20 minutes either side of half-time, in a home match against West Bromwich Albion on April 16 1965.

He joked: “Sergio Aguero scored five in a game a couple of years ago for Manchester City and I had people texting me that my record had gone.

“But he had an extra three minutes of injury time to score his in – so I’m still the quickest. I even had Mike Summerbee, a former City legend, e-mailing me, asking If I would concede.

“But I don’t read e-mails so I couldn’t answer him – so the record stands!”

Co-organiser Alan Cook said: “It was a really interesting night and everyone appeared enthralled.”

Jamie Klein, 14, added: “I really enjoyed it, especially the stuff about his friendship with Bobby Moore.”

An auction was held at the end of the evening to raise money for the Amy May Trust, which was set up to help Amy, who was left severely brain damaged after suffering an allergic nut reaction at a restaurant.

Julie Martin, a trustee at the Trust, wrote in a letter to the men’s group: “I am writing to say a huge thank you to all at Leigh Road Baptist Church and for the funds raised so magnificently for The Amy May Trust.”

By Steve Klein (an unbiased West Ham fan…)

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Community Engagement thoughts from Anita Ford (Leigh Town Council), Peter Wexham (Southend Borough Council) and Sir David Amess (MP)

June Anita Ford (Leigh Town Council), Peter Wexham (Southend Borough Council) and Sir David Amess (MP)
We were delighted that on 25th June Anita Ford (Leigh Town Council), Peter Wexham (Southend Borough Council) and Sir David Amess (MP) accepted an invitation to join us in a Sunday service and help us reflect on the needs of the community of Leigh and the wider Southend Borough.

Steve Tinning shared some thoughts about why community engagement is one of the church’s new vision priorities – reminding us that a biblical principle of worship is to bring what you have to offer for the sake of God’s Kingdom. If we truly want to see “God’s Kingdom come, his will done on Earth as it is in Heaven” then we must offer ourselves as living sacrifices to see that vision become a reality.

In this spirit, three church members spoke about different community initiatives they are giving themselves to and spoke about the impact these initiatives were have on the lives of local people. “CAP” (capuk.org) provides educational and practical support to those overwhelmed by debt, “Child Contact Centres” (naccc.org.uk) provide opportunities for children to meet with parents they don’t live with following a separation in a safe environment, and “Cycling Club” (Leigh North Street School), “Breeze Rides” and “Just Ride” are three local cycling groups that encourage exercise and community amongst children, women and those with varying physical abilities.

Following these encouraging reports our visitors were asked a bit about their background and how/why they got into politics/community service and then shared their perspectives on the needs in our community and what role faith groups can play in addressing them. If you’d like to listen to their thoughts, you can do so on our podcast page here.

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They’re not your usual charity shops

Shared Space Launch
Shared Space was set up by our sister Baptist church,  Church from Scratch. It’s a growing Christian network of charity shops across Southend and beyond, transforming lives through volunteering, training and funding local good causes. It is the good news of Jesus expressed in action and words.

Leigh Road Baptist Church has helped Shared Space from when it started back in 2010. We’ve held regular ‘Donation Sundays’ where members of the church have donated a veritable mountain of goodies for Shared Space. They are distributed to one of the three Shared Space charity shops to be sold by their team of 85 active volunteers.

But what’s so different about Shared Space? Unlike other charity shops, the volunteers in each individual shop decide where to distribute grants to support good causes in the area around that shop. And it’s not your usual mix of volunteers – many of the volunteers are marginalised or fragile people who are being supported, trained up and encouraged as part of a tight-knit team of caring volunteers.

Peter Dominey, chair of Shared Space trustees, says, “Thanks LRBC for supporting us. You can read lots of the volunteer stories and how to donate goods to our charity shops at the new website www.charityshop.co

Find out all about the Shared Space charity shops on their brand new website at www.charityshop.co

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Father’s Day Prayer and Reflection

FATHER’S DAY PRAYER & REFLECTION

Father’s Day Prayer and Reflection

Particularly for those for whom Father’s Day might be a difficult day.

When: Sunday 18th June 2017, 9.30am
The Stables Lounge,
Chalkwell Park Drive,
Leigh-on-Sea

All who find this short time together for prayer and reflection welcome. Should last 30-40 minutes.

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