Call Out for Entries for ‘Faith in Art’ | Open Summer Exhibition

Call-Out For Entries Faith in Art Open Summer Exhibition 2024

Faith in Art 2024 | 28 July – 25 August 2024 

Leigh Road Baptist Church Welcome Area internal windows, Marguerite Drive, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 1NN.

As part of summer Church Leigh Road Baptist Church is aiming to host a ‘Faith in Art’ Open Submission Summer Exhibition in the church windows across late July and August.

The show makes space for and welcomes submissions from all; established local artists, emerging talent, schools and hobbyists of all ages.

We want to showcase a breadth and diversity of work using acrylics, oils, watercolours, gouache, pen and ink, crayon, photography, spray can, airbrush, pastels and mixed media. Artists can submit one artwork in 2D to a maximum size of A3.

Photos of artwork should be submitted via the form linked below by midnight on Sunday 21 July 2024.

The Theme: Faith in Art

The Bible and Christianity have long been an inspiration for artists from Michelangelo and Rembrandt to 21 century contemporary artists. This new exciting exhibition seeks to invite artists to interpret, ask questions, raise doubts, tell of the hope, depict stories of the Bible in a creative way, based on their own faith, culture and experience.

We hope to create a richer dialogue through arts about the big questions of life and faith. 

If you are chosen

You must to be able to deliver the artwork on the day of Thursday 26 July by 12 noon. Also collection must be on Tuesday 27 August, 9:30am to 4pm (but do let us know if that is problem).

We will be promoting the exhibition and artists during the show via Facebook and Instagram, so the more info you give on the form the more we can shout about you. If you have public profiles on the social networks please provide them so we can tag you.  

We will notify you by the email or telephone number you have provided if your work is to be included in the exhibition (please make sure there are no typos in your contact details).

We reserve the right of curation and art placement in venue.

We look forward to receiving your submission.

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How can the church pray for you?

How can we pray for you?

Leigh Road Baptist Church has been praying for Leigh-on-Sea, its people and the wider world for over 130 years, and it is our absolute joy to continue to do so.

We believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer, simply put, we see prayer work.

If as an individual, business, school or organisation in Leigh-on-Sea or indeed beyond you would like LRBC to pray for you or your situation, please post your prayer request in the box below and hit submit.

‘Why don’t you try praying for a week and see what happens in your life?’

Why not check out TryPraying, a 7 day prayer guide for the non-religious, for those who aren’t into church, the atheist and agnostic.

Visit to get the 7 day guide, or just start praying.

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Watch General Election Hustings | Southend West and Leigh Constituency

Left to Right: Rev Steve Tinning, Chair, Conservative Party | Anna Firth. Labour Party | David Burton-Sampson. Green Party | Tilly Hogrebe. Reform UK | Peter Little. Robert David John Francis | Independent. Liberal Democrats | Stephen Cummins. Lara Michelle Hurley | Heritage Party - Free Speech and Liberty. Tom Darwood | Independent.
Photo credit: Sean Buckley |

Left to Right: Rev Steve Tinning, Chair, Conservative Party | Anna Firth. Labour Party | David Burton-Sampson. Green Party | Tilly Hogrebe. Reform UK | Peter Little. Robert David John Francis | Independent. Liberal Democrats | Stephen Cummins. Lara Michelle Hurley | Heritage Party – Free Speech and Liberty. Tom Darwood | Independent. Photo credit: Sean Buckley |

As the general election approaches, Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) once again invited ten of the candidates standing for the Southend West and Leigh Constituency seat to a hustings event.

It took place on Monday 24 June 2024, 7:30pm – 9:30pm chaired by Rev Steve Tinning, Joint Public Issues Enabler with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and former Minister at LRBC, to a full house of over 300 people at the home of Leigh Road Baptist Church, Marguerite Drive, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1NN.

Many issues, local, national and international were addressed, including UK poverty, international aid, support of refugees, clean beaches, climate change, Israel and Palestine, local authority funding, affordable housing, crime, and political accountability amongst others.

Watch the proceedings

2024 General Election Hustings Southend West and Leigh Constituency

Those that accepted our invitation to participate in the full evening (in Alphabetical Order by Party):

  • Conservative Party | Anna Firth
  • Green Party | Tilly Hogrebe
  • Labour Party | David Burton-Sampson
  • Liberal Democrats | Stephen Cummins
  • Reform UK | Peter Little

Candidates invited to give opening statements and closing remarks addressing some of the questions raised (in Alphabetical Order by Party):

  • James Miller | Confelicity (Boycotted event)
  • Lara Michelle Hurley | Heritage Party – Free Speech and Liberty
  • Tom Darwood | Independent
  • Robert David John Francis | Independent
  • Jason Pilley | Psychedelic Movement (Did not attend)

It is a sad reality that to accommodate all 10 candidates for full participation in the Hustings would have been too unwieldy and seriously restrict the number of questions we’d have been able to address in the time available, we actually received over 88 questions! So, we followed Election Commission guidelines and extended an invitation to 5 of the 10 candidates on the basis of their parties enjoying recent local election success and/or recent national profile/polling, ensuring we have a broad range of views represented. We also reached out to the independent candidates and those representing smaller parties in the hope that they will be able to come to the Hustings and offer a short opening statement and some brief comments on some of the questions they felt particularly compelled to address, ensuring attendees will be made aware of all of those standing and the key policies they are promoting.

Questions were gathered beforehand so that we could make best use of the time we had and so that we could ensure the candidates were asked about local, national and international issues that have the broadest concern amongst those attending.

Our thanks to the candidates on the night and all those running for election, and to the public that sent in their questions and turned up hear the answers.

Please do exercise your right to vote on Thursday 4 July 2024, and don’t forget to take your photo i.d.

More information

Cameron Hill, Reporter for the Echo, was at the church and conducted a live blog feed updated during the proceedings that can be read on the newspapers website.

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Time to Talk Day visits Renew Wellbeing at the Living Room, Leigh-on-Sea

Time to Talk Day Coop at Renew Wellbeing. Darrell chats to Ruth
Time to Talk Day Coop at Renew Wellbeing. Darrell chats to Ruth

The weekly Thursday Renew Wellbeing drop-in at the Living Room, 191 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea welcomed Darrell Binding, Co-op Member Pioneer for the City of Southend this past Thursday 1 February to mark the UK wide Time to Talk Day.

Time to Talk Day is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op. The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health.

Darrell brought along conversation starters, prompt cards and a jenga-like game with wood blocks to help those who attend Renew Wellbeing each week relax and start honest conversations. Time to Talk Day aims to help us all be open to the idea of talking – we all have mental health, and by having conversations about it we can help ourselves and others.

The Renew Wellbeing drop-in meets weekly on a Thursday from 2pm to 4pm at the Living Room and is designed to be a relaxed space to promote emotional wellbeing. Tanya Pain, who is on the RW volunteer team said, “At Renew Wellbeing we see the value in providing space to talk and listen each week. Therefore, it was great to welcome Darrell to mark Time to Talk Day. Many people of all ages and backgrounds come along, bring or take part in an activity, chat and listen to each other and reap the benefit. New people are always welcome just drop in”.

Darrell Binding added, “The Time to Talk survey highlights that too often, we put a brave face on and tell people we’re fine when we’re not because we’re worried about being a burden during difficult times. But bottling things up is only making things worse. Talking about our mental health can help us feel less alone, more able to cope, and encouraged to seek support if we need to. It was my privilege to join with Renew Wellbeing and have a conversation this Time to Talk Day.”

Anybody is welcome to drop in.

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Southend Foodbank donation drop-off times for Leigh-on-Sea

Foodbank donation drop off times Open Sunday, Monday and Wednesday 10 am to 11 am for food donations only at LRBC

The LRBC Southend Foodbank Donation Point has now reopened

Leigh Road Baptist Church is a donation point for foodstuffs for the Southend Foodbank. If you are able to donate some non-perishable food, you can drop it off at the following times.

Open Sunday, Monday and Wednesday 10 am to 11 am for food donations only.

For more info on what kind of food can be donated see the Southend Foodbank website. Thank you!

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Three Cheers for a Wonderful Christmas Eco Fayre

A huge thank you to an amazing group of volunteers – all 46 of them – that came together before, during and after the Christmas Eco Fayre that took place at Leigh Road Baptist Church on Saturday 18 November. 

They moved tables, promoted the event, displayed and sold second-hand goods and cuddly toys, painted faces, sold cakes and bacon butties (yum!). Together we championed ethical and sustainable Christmas shopping, supporting local makers and crafters – the whole event was full of joy and bargains!

Thanks to all who came along and purchased from the stallholders who reported really good sales. “Thanks for a fantastic day”, “Another really successful Eco fair” and “My favourite markets were definitely the Global Community Saturdays (Living Room) and the LRBC Christmas Fayre”, were just some of the positive comments received.

The festive season was kicked off in style and all are welcome to journey with Leigh Road Baptist Church through Advent and into Christmas. Full details of what’s on this Christmas can be found here:

So far the fayre has raised £2175.00 towards the church’s work in the community – thank you!

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Rev Ian Smith welcomed as LRBC’s Associate Minister

Sunday 4 June saw many invited guests and the congregation of Leigh Road Baptist Church officially welcome Rev Ian Smith as an Associate Minister of the church.

Rev Claire Blatchford, Regional Minister of the Eastern Baptist Association led the induction of Ian with promises and prayers given by Ian’s former church, Billericay Baptist Church and the gathered congregation and church members.

We are thankful to Rev. Gary Bott, Community Pastor at Billericay Baptist Church who brought us all a challenging message and the LRBC band who lead those gathered in joyous sung worship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The service was followed by tea and an array of delicious cakes served in the church hall and garden, and informal but sincere welcomes were given by guests, Anna Firth MP and Cllr Bernhard Arscott, Chair of Leigh-on-Sea Town Council.

Ian is a gifted and experienced minister who has served in a variety of churches throughout his ministry. He is passionate about leading people to know Jesus Christ and to grow in their faith. He is also a gifted communicator and teacher.

As Leigh Road Baptist Church, we are excited to welcome Ian to the church family joining our Minister Andrew Cowley and we believe that he will be a great asset to our community and town.

A prayer for Rev Ian Smith today on the occasion of the induction of Ian as an Associate Minister of Leigh Road Baptist Church.

Father God,

Today we thank you for the service that Ian has given to your church and mission in different ways and in different places, and we pray that his sense of calling may be renewed as he comes to this work with Leigh Road Baptist Church and the people of Leigh-on-Sea.

We thank you for the talents and skills he has exercised and which he now brings to this community, for his integrity and faith.

We thank you for all that he has learned in ministry, all that he has given and all that he has shared in. We thank you for the pilgrimage of his past and the mission that is the future.

We thank you for Ian’s family, and pray for Andrea, Kayleigh and Harry, that in their own right they may know that they are welcomed by a community, embraced by a fellowship and loved for themselves.

In this ministry, may Ian give and be given to, hear and be heard, love and be loved, support and be supported. Grant your grace to both minister, ministerial team, congregation and neighbourhood to forge together a partnership of trust and respect.

May we as LRBC proclaim the good news of the kingdom through our life and worship together. May we teach, baptise and nurture new believers through our faith and fellowship, may we respond to human need by loving service on our frontlines.

By your Spirit keep us faithful and guide us on our frontlines, equip us for your service, and welcome us into your future.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Please continue to pray for Leigh Road Baptist Church and their ministers Andrew and Ian. Thank you.

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Renew Wellbeing at the Living Room Celebrates First Anniversary

Leigh Road Baptist Church’s Living Room has recently celebrated the first anniversary of the weekly drop-in wellbeing space called ‘Renew Wellbeing’ on the Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea.

‘Renew Wellbeing at the Living Room’ is a space where people can relax, take part in craft activities, read magazines, do puzzles, chat and have the opportunity to buy a drink and cake from the adjoining ‘The Phabulous Café’ next door.

The aim is to provide a place where local people who may feel anxious, isolated or lonely to meet with others and take part in something creative. There is also a short prayer time which is optional at 3.45pm and an opportunity to enjoy time together.

Renew Wellbeing meets every Thursday 2pm-4pm at the community space, the Living Room, 191 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea. The space is open to all, please just pop in.

Tanya Pain one of the volunteer organisers said ‘Renew Wellbeing is a space for all where it is okay to not be okay. It’s a non-judgmental safe space where nobody is forced to join in and all are welcome to just be. Anyone would be very welcome.’

Attendees have commented on the value of such a space for them,

‘I am really enjoying Renew Wellbeing, lovely people, many activities and things to do. Just what I needed and very therapeutic and good for wellbeing’.

‘You have no idea what a difference Renew Wellbeing has made to my confidence and self esteem. They changed an isolated, withdrawn old lady into one who feels ready to face the world…’

The first anniversary on Thursday 11 May saw birthday cake, crafts, puzzles, chatting and a real buzz from regular and new guests. It was also great to be visited by other churches thinking of opening up a wellbeing space and Syrie Cox, a long-time supporter of mental health and wellbeing projects and the CEO of the wonderful Southend YMCA.

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Love Southend donate artwork in memory of Sir David Amess to LRBC on anniversary of his death

Jane Brookes with artwork donated by Love Southend
Jane Brookes (LRBC) with artwork donated by Love Southend.

Following the murder of Sir David Amess last year Love Southend an inter church organisation showing God’s love throughout the city of Southend-on-Sea held a time of prayer on Zoom for his family, friends and the then Borough. Artist Helen Yousaf was commissioned to capture artistically some of the themes emerging from the prayer.

If was our privilege as Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) to make our Living Room community space on the Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea (the same road as Sir David’s constituency office) available for Helen to start the work.  Helen actively engaged those who visited the Living Room while this creative work was in progress, and used their thoughts, prayers and observations in creating three pieces of artwork, which she completed later.

Love Southend, as a mark of thanks for LRBC’s help in making this art work possible, donated a piece entitled ‘Suffering and Glory’ to Jane Brookes (pictured), Facilities Manager of Leigh Road Baptist Church on the 6 October.

The accompanying wording reads:

Suffering and Glory

Sir David Amess MP was murdered during a regular constituency surgery
At Belfairs Methodist Church on the 15th October 2021.

Two days later these inspiring words were released by his family:

Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David.
He was a patriot and a man of peace. So, we ask people to set aside their
differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward.
Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness

Love Southend commissioned artist Helen Yousaf to paint what had been
expressed in a time of prayer for Sir David’s family and Southend.
In a collaborative artistic exercise held in this space the people attending participated
in a colourful abstract, imagining the possibilities of light overcoming darkness.

As she worked on the picture Helen was reminded of Romans 8:18-19.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.
For the creation waits in eager expectation
for the children of God to be revealed.

A year on from the tragic murder of Sir David Amess, our thoughts and prayers remain with his family, colleagues and closest friends. We thank God for his service to our city and the many lives he affected through his service as an MP, friend and citizen of our city.

The artwork is on display on the glass welcome area, at the home of Leigh Road Baptist Church, Marguerite Drive, Leigh-on-Sea.

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Supporting Ukraine | Pray | Donate | Host

Serving Our Fellow-Ukrainians, Even as We Flee…
EBF: Serving Our Fellow-Ukrainians, Even as We Flee…

Got questions about sponsoring or housing Ukrainian Refugees?

Sanctuary Foundation the national organisation headed up by Dr Krish Kandiah are hosting an online information session titled “How to welcome Ukrainian Refugees
Wednesday 16 March 7.30pm-9pm for anyone who is interested.

How to welcome Ukrainian Refugees event.

More details can be found here…

A Continuing Prayer for Ukraine

God of all,
With alarm and concern we bring before you
the military intervention in Ukraine. 
In a world you made for peace and flourishing,
we lament the use of armed force.
We mourn every casualty of this conflict,
every precious life extinguished by war.
We pray comfort for those who grieve
and those who are fearful.
Hear our longing that leaders and nations
will honour the worth of all people
by having the courage
to resolve conflict through dialogue.
May all our human failings be transformed
by your wonderful grace and goodness
We ask this in the name of Christ,
the author of peace and sustainer of Creation.


We have all seen and heard the distressing pictures and news from Ukraine. The local population is suffering from the Russian invasion in many different ways including the separation of families and the shelling of residential areas. Many people are fleeing abroad and there is a great need to provide food, water, medicines and shelter for these refugees.

The leadership team of Leigh Road Baptist Church has considered what our response should be as a church and has decided to send £5,000 to the European Baptist Federation (EBF). The EBF is working with partners in Ukraine, Poland and other surrounding nations who are best placed to know what practical help and assistance is needed by those most affected.

We are aware that many of you would like to help in some way and so we would invite the church family together to try and match the £5,000 that the church is already sending to the EBF to add to the overall donation.  You can do this at the LRBC on-site gatherings by putting cash or a cheque in the green giving envelopes provided, marking them for Ukraine, which will be available over the next few weeks. Alternatively, you can transfer funds by bank transfer, please contact the church office for these details. 

If you are a UK taxpayer then please provide the church treasurer with your name, address and the amount you’ve donated to so that we can recover the tax via Gift Aid which will increase the value of your donation.

Thank you!

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