By Father Egerton Gbonda


Time flies! I’m now three months old in office and it appears the pampering is over; which I enjoyed in the first few weeks- with a big welcome party, some sending food to help Gladys (my wife) and I to settle down and many more.

What next? Mails kept coming addressed to the church- some were exciting and others I just didn’t want to read e.g. church utility bills. Then in the church office, there were loads of folders with documents to read too. Soon, I got used to the pattern of mails coming in, documents to read, the doorbell buzzing and someone making an enquiry or asking for help, meetings to attend and preparations to be done for Sunday service.

Consequently, one was able (with the help of the Parish Church Council, PCC) to get certain things up and running. We have been able to get four committees viz. Finance, Fabric cum Health and Safety, Welcome & Pastoral Action Team and Mission Action Team. New committees with both PCC and the non-PCC church members working together towards wholistic development; which is our tagline. 

In addition, our worship is now hands-free. No papers (or service sheets to give out); as well as hymn books. We now have a mega-size screen, a projector, laptop and stand. We got all of these as a result of kind donations from church members.

The community residents (through the tenants and residents’ associations-TRA and the Lewington community centre) have also played their own part to make things happen and we are very much excited to work with them in initiatives that will lead to community cohesion and development. 

Therefore PCC has appointed Rita Edmond as our Parish Community Engagement Officer. Rita is the right person for this task. She holds a master’s degree in community development and has lived in the Silwood estate (where the church is located) for 21 years; a member of one of the TRAs in the community and playing a major role in the Lewington centre, as volunteer manager of Silwood Family Hub (Stay and Play Group for under 5‘s). 

We have identified a number of community initiatives e.g. a writing competition for the young people in the community on the topic- My Community Youth Project. We want our young people in the community to express themselves in writing on what they think is their real need that will gainfully occupy them to enhance their Godgiven potentials. We hope to listen to what they tell us and seek for funding for a viable youth-led project. It’s going to be a keen competition, as we hope to motivate the young people with attractive prizes for the winners.

Our young people in the church have begun leading the church services on every third Sunday. They do the first part of the service and we have had 5 adults who have received diocesan safeguarding training. Hence, 2 appointed Parish Safeguarding Officers. We have now begun work on our Mission Action Plan (MAP); and hope to complete it by Easter and starting to work out strategies to address the quinquennial survey report; which tells you the state of our church building.

We greatly value your prayers that our MAP will be a document that will make us have a deeper sense of our mission in the community we find ourselves. Pray also that we would have the requisite funding for us to address the issues raised in the survey report; as well as the social action initiative with the young people in our community.