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.