Parish Profile 2015

Written by Brenda. Posted in pp_FullProfile2015

Parish of the Holy Trinity, East Ham

St. Bartholomew's, and St. Mary Magdalene's, East Ham; St. Edmund King and Martyr, Forest Gate; St. Alban's, Upton Park

Needs and warmly welcomes a

Team Rector

cong

Based at

St Bartholomew’s Church & Centre

East Ham London E6

PARISH PROFILE

St Bartholomew’s Church & Centre

292b Barking Road East Ham London E6 3BA

Telephone: 020 8470 0011

e-Mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web Site: www.easthamparish.org.uk

Archdeaconry of West Ham.

Registered Charity No: 1127847

The Parish

The parish is in the centre of Newham and previously encompassed St Mary’s and St Bart’s [with St Alban’s (non-worshipping)] and has just been joined by St Edmund’s Forest Gate. It is a large parish with around 56,000 people within the parish boundaries, with a mass of different cultures and faiths but most being Muslim.

Our ministry team comprises a Team Vicar at St Mary’s, a Priest-in-Residence at St Edmunds, an SSM, an Authorised Lay Preacher and an Authorised Pastoral Assistant.

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Our Parish vision is:-

In the light of God’s call and our situation here our vision is that East Ham should be a place where the signs of God’s kingdom are discerned and nurtured, and where people, in all their diversity, share in the abundant life of God’s creation.

We seek to worship in ways which honour both the long tradition of Christian witness here and also our constantly changing and very mixed congregations.

We strive to be inclusive and hospitable, to serve and learn, reflecting God’s love for the world through the work which takes place in our buildings and in our lives beyond the buildings.

St. Bartholomew's Church and Centre

St Barts. Church and Centre is a contemporary building, opened in 1983, that replaced a larger Victorian church.

The building consists of the Church, the Centre, sheltered housing flats, and an adjacent Doctors' Surgery.

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You enter into a foyer/café area which is the weekday heart of the building. Two halls (one with a large kitchen) lead off the foyer and, to your right, is the worship area – Church and Chapel - and, passing through the Church, is the vestry and a medium-size office. On the first floor is the Parish Office and further small offices and a meeting room overlooking the worship area.

Above the Centre are several flats for the elderly, managed by a housing association and adjacent is the Doctors’ Surgery: both of these have separate entrances.

To the rear of the Centre is the original, Georgian, Grade-II listed rectory (Fellowship House) which has been converted to flats for affordable housing, again managed by a housing association. The ground-floor space of the building is leased to a Children’s Nursery.

Adjacent to the site is the 1983, 4-bedroom Rectory with garage and large garden.

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St Bart’s Centre

The Parish's vision was for the Centre to be a gateway into the life of the Church by being open, active and welcoming to the community.

We are open and in use daily from 9 am till 4.00 pm and again into the evening to accommodate a variety of groups. We also share our building and Church for worship by other Christian denominations.

The Centre currently employs a caretaker, part-time cleaners, a part-time lettings co-ordinator, two part-time Parish administrators, providing 5 day-a-week cover between them, and a full-time Cafe Manager.

Bart’s Café – ‘Food and Friendship’

We are used by the whole community. In addition to light refreshments we serve hot meals, which are especially appreciated by the older users who would otherwise rely on ready-meals or a sandwich. They also find friendship, a listening ear and often practical help with their needs from the staff. Our Café Manager also organises a programme of social events. Church members organise a regular ‘Scrabble Club’ and a Book/Poetry Club.

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We welcomed 17 users to an open meeting and their overwhelming view was that it was ‘warm, welcoming and friendly.’ But we would like to find ways to attract more of the diverse Newham Community that pass our doors.

We see the Cafe as being integral to the building, to Bart's Church, and to the whole parish and subsidise its running costs to maintain our mission in the community.

Future Developments

We have recently been in discussions with the Doctors' Surgery who need to expand their space to meet NHS requirements and agreed that they should submit a funding application to the NHS for (their) part of the redevelopment costs. If successful this will involve a major rebuild of the Centre and loss of some rental income during the building process. We have begun taking professional advice on this and proposed appointing an Operations Manager to oversee this and all our property matters (the temporal side of the Church!). We did not make an appointment and have decided to wait on the outcome of the funding application (early summer); possibly we may require a dedicated project manager. A number of options are available to us for any additional funding that may be required. If unsuccessful the Surgery has a commitment to us for a further 8 years or so.

The Church

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Worship

Our worship at St Bart’s can best be described as being in the liberal, “light” Anglo-Catholic tradition.

Our main Sunday service is a 10.00 am Eucharist with an ad-hoc choir; the first Sunday of the month is an “all-age” Eucharist and we also have a monthly ‘Healing’ service with the laying on of hands, prayerand anointing with oil.

We have also held ‘open intercessions’ where congregation members can light a candle and share their prayer with the whole Church.

We hold a Thursday lunchtime Communion, with a time for a short discussion on a ‘Thought for the Day’ type topic which is increasingly popular and welcomes café users, along with worshippers from our own and other Churches.

Newham, being one of the most ethnically mixed Boroughs in the country, attracts people from all cultures and backgrounds. We have members who are traditional East-Enders and others whose ethnicity reflects the diversity of the Borough. It is a challenge to find creative ways to engage with newcomers to help them feel a ‘stakeholder’ in our Worship and Church Life.

We have good relations with two local care homes where we hold regular Eucharists and services for special occasions, supported by lay members.

At an open meeting we said that we were open to a greater variety of forms of worship – “jazz it up a bit”. We would welcome a flexible and sympathetic moderniser! Mindful also of those who are comfortable with the familiar.

Lay Ministry

Some of our congregation have taken part in Christian education and training courses and this is an area we would like to explore further: to discover and use the ‘hidden talents’ amongst our folk. Newham Deanery is beginning to develop its own local, contextual training so there is scope to use this in nurturing new believers, and provide training in pastoral care, evangelism, and youth work.

 

Children’s and Youth work

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We are very fortunate in having a growing Sunday school with a dedicated leader and helpers who are developing a very lively Club for our younger members.

At the monthly All-Age Worship the children lead the prayers and readings and have performed on special occasions e.g. Easter and Christmas.

One of our best-supported activities is the annual weekend away for young people at a local outdoor activity centre (Stubbers). We get participants from neighbouring churches and the wider community and often have to turn people away. We would like to see more of these kinds of events!

Pastoral Care

We have a licensed Pastoral Assistant much of whose present ministry takes place among Café and Centre users and finds engaging in conversations about life and its problems to be the best opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love. We now have a real fellowship of people sharing their joys and pains, and this has led to the setting up of a ‘Bethany Group’ for people of any faith or none to have an opportunity to share their burdens, worries and problems in more depth, with the opportunity for prayer if they wish.

Discipleship

We are also looking forward to continue with our successful ‘Study Days’ with invited speakers. These have drawn in people from around the area. Bible Study, both clergy- and lay-led has been a popular feature and we would welcome anything which will help us to ‘learn, laugh, and grow together spiritually.’

The Rector and St Bart’s

Although responsible for the whole Parish we would expect the Rector to focus on worship, nurture and pastoral care at St Bart’s.

St Edmund, King & Martyr

We are a small, long-established, Anglican church in Forest Gate, Newham.

Our worship is in the Anglo-Catholic tradition with a sung Mass at 10.00am. on Sundays. We also have a regular Mass every Wednesday morning, also at 10am.

The congregation reflects the ethnic diversity of the Borough of Newham with members from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, as well as the UK. Members contribute to ministry as servers, readers and intercessors. Four members of the congregation are also licensed to assist at Holy Communion. Members of the congregation are asked to provide individual prayers once each month which are read as “The People’s Intercessions”. We currently do not have a permanent organist but one of the congregation pre-records musical accompaniment for each Sunday service.

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Vision


In this area of great belief in other faiths, our parish should strive to be a beacon of Christianity where Christians can continue to reflect the beauty of holiness in their witness and ministry, serving God in welcoming and inclusive ways to all irrespective of their cultural background.

Building


The building is in a busy residential road virtually equidistant between two extremely busy shopping areas. It operates as a church and community centre in a converted old vicarage which replaced a traditional Victorian church building which was no longer deemed viable. It was dedicated in 1988 and subsequently remodelled in 1995 to improve accessibility.

The building is fronted by a chapel, designed by Cottrell & Vermeulen, with a single, floor-to- ceiling, pane glass window. There is a vestry and a small kitchen. The rest of the ground floor is a multifunctional area usually configured as a “lounge” and a main, larger, worship area.

Most of the first floor is rented out to the St. Edmund’s Pre-School - an independent, multicultural group. The Walsingham Room, reserved for quiet and reflection at the bequest of a deceased member of the church, is also on the first floor. The top floor of the building is a flat, currently let to the Priest-in-Residence.

To the rear of the Church is a small garden of remembrance. At the front is an area used by the Pre-school for outdoor play and a small open garden, mostly laid to gravel.

Building Users


A number of other groups also use the building. Apart from the Pre-School, the Monega Residents Association uses the building for their meetings and the St Edmund’s Music Group hold concerts several times a year. Currently a keep fit group also meets in the hall.

In addition to this, a number of other Christian churches, such as The United Pentecostal Church of Europe, Bethel United and Bibleway Churches United Kingdom, worship in our building.

St Edmund’s have only recently joined the East Ham Team and are excited by the possibilities this offers them in joining with others to develop ourselves and help extend our ministry in this part of Newham.

St Mary Magdalene

The church dates back to the 12th century and is Grade 1 listed. Over the past few years there has been significant investment in the building with over £300,000 being spent on its restoration.

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St Mary’s is a thriving church within the liberal catholic tradition. The main Sunday service is a sung Eucharist with incense being used. There is regular children’s work with first communion classes during Lent.

Once a month, there is a Children’s liturgy. The majority of weddings in the Parish take place at St Mary’s. There is significant lay participation within the running of the church. We are a racially mixed congregation with recent arrivals to the Borough and also have some long established church members. There are a growing number of young families. There is a long-established Team Vicar based at St Mary Magdalene and an authorised local lay preacher. We also celebrate the ministry of all Team members and have regular joint services.

There is a church hall with a variety of user Groups including a pre-school. The Nature Reserve Building in the ten-acre churchyard is run by a local charity(Active Newham) that works with the church to manage the churchyard. Many of the local schools regularly visit the church. This links in with the mission of the church within the wider community. We have strong links with two charities, US and the Mildmay mission.

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St. Alban's

St. Alban's, situated in Wakefield Street, was rebuilt in the early 1980s and is no longer used for worship. The building comprises sheltered housing, and office space and a large hall (formerly the worship area) which are currently leased to the Pre-School Learning Alliance who run a nursery in the Hall.

Joint Parish activities

We very much appreciate the worship and fellowship we enjoy together. We have joint Sunday worship services throughout the year, rotating among the churches. We hold a number of spiritual and social events together such as the Advent and Lent courses, a regular monthly Bible study and try to support each other’s congregational activities as much as we can. We very much value being in a team partnership.

Joint social events, invitations to which are extended to the wider community, have included Coach Outings, Pilgrimages (recently Bradwell and Walsingham), concerts in aid of Christian Aid, Strawberry Teas and barbeques.

East Ham Anglicans

In addition to the East Ham Team, East Ham includes the parishes of St. George (to the West) and St. Paul (in the North East corner).

In 2013 a Diocesan initiative encouraged each Deanery to group parishes into ‘Mission and Ministry Units’. The East Ham Anglican churches became the East Ham MMU. The clergy met several times from late 2013 and share Morning Prayer together monthly. One thing to come out of this is a joint service of Confirmation to be hosted at St. Bart’s in July 2015.

Also in 2015 it was proposed that Newham forms a single MMU, though this would not preclude the East Ham Anglicans (now including St. Edmund’s) from continuing to work more closely together.

Methodists

Pilgrims Way (Congregational and Methodist) and High Street South Methodist Churches share a Minister and are situated just a few minutes walk from St Bart’s and St Mary’s. A group from Pilgrims Way come to the Barts Café for lunch every Wednesday and also support our social events and study days. The East Ham Parish Team has a good relationship with the current Methodist Minister. We say Morning Prayer together on Mondays and Tuesdays and run a joint Lent course across the churches. We have also exchanged pulpits and shared in leading worship together. The Methodist Minister has permission from the Bishop of Barking to preside at Eucharistic services in the parish. Both clergy and laity are keen to build on the strong links we already enjoy and further explore how the national Anglican-Methodist covenant might be worked out on a local level. 

Newham deanery

Rev. Jeremy Fraser, Area Dean

This is a place of amazing contrasts, we have the most young people, the most people who go to church, the most people with faith (i.e. other faiths) the fewest atheists (out of 310,000 we have 77) perhaps unsurprisingly.

Newham has been the first point for many immigrating communities and they swell our pews. So our faith has to be culturally diverse and open. There is unemployment, but you are more likely to find poverty in work (short hours or poor pay), housing and health issues.

Following the Olympics the area is changing and accommodation is hard to find and expensive. Locally the moving of the football club and the new housing being built elsewhere are factors. The local shopping is vibrant but the high street names and the affluent money go elsewhere.

The really exciting thing is that the parish is ready to change. They have had a two year interim rector and they are now ready for a person inspired by the Holy Spirit to direct them prayerfully onto their next chapter.

The deanery itself is large but works together well, the clergy support each other in good times and bad. We meet up as a chapter and I, as the Dean, would help you settle in.

Newham is not a place for timeservers or those feeling drained: it is the place for vibrant faith and ambition. God is moving here in a mighty way, come and be part of it.

 

So, for our Parish, we are looking for someone who will:

  • Consolidate and lead the integration of the Ministry team across the 3 Churches to form a strategy for working together with our varied human resources in Mission and Ministry, while respecting the worship traditions of each of the Churches.

  • Be committed to inner-city ministry with all its joys and pains and be willing to work with and care for all the facets of our diverse congregations.

  • Actively encourage and nurture participation in worship and other aspects of church life by the laity and lead us in developing worship which is meaningful, relevant and engaging for the cultures and ages represented in our Churches and the local community.

  • Inspire people into faith, nurture new disciples and sustain those already on the journey.

  • Celebrate and develop the ministry of St Bart’s Church Centre and Cafe and help develop greater transparency between the work of the Centre and the Church.

  • Support the growing ministry to our children and develop activities with our youth.

  • Maintain the close link we have with the E6 churches through the Leaders meetings and, particularly, the close cooperation we have with our Methodist neighbours.

  • Have overall responsibility for the smooth-running of the Parish Office and associated administrative activities.