New Team, Who This?

The start of this term has been an exciting one for us! We have almost doubled our staff team and together we have a plethora of different skills to bring to the table. This week we had a great time as a core team spending some time together to bond and strategise about how we move forward as a church, at Rainham Hall. It was great to spend some quality time together and be on the same page in terms of the heart and vision God has given us for Barking Riverside and the wider community.

So before further ado, here we all are together in the beautiful gardens of Rainham Hall and we thought this would be the perfect time to introduce you to the new members of our team – some of whom have been a part of our church family from the beginning.

From left to right:
Urbain Yombe, Sam Pollard, Zahra Awani, Steve Swinney, Anna Pollard, Emmanuel Oreyeni & Jeorgina Soares

Steve Swinney – Worship & Creative Lead

I arrived in Barking from North Lincolnshire in 1985, studied Computer Studies at North East London Polytechnic (now UEL), before working in I.T. My wife (then girlfriend) Elaine joined me a year later, commencing her career in nursing at Upney hospital.

I became a Christian aged 11 but struggled to ‘be one’ through my teenage years. Relocating to Barking & Dagenham aged 19 offered a new beginning, following a decision to fully abandon my life to God. Later, one night while reading the Bible – God personalised the text, specifically calling me to equip His church and share His word. 

I began ministry as a worship leader and preacher in Dagenham, before relocating to restart a church in Thurrock – where I was later ‘ordained’ as a Pentecostal minister. In 1994 I left my I.T. role to give myself full-time as my ministry increased, and have since had the privilege to serve and minister to people and churches across 4 continents and multiple denominations.

Elaine and I have 2 grown and flown children, a grandson and 2 granddogs!

It’s great to be back in Barking & Dagenham, and a privilege to serve at Church At Barking Riverside as Worship and Creative lead.

Emmanuel Oreyeni – Creative Associate

I am in my second year of university studying Fine Art at University of Arts London at the Chelsea College Of Arts. I’m an Artist that does portraits, comic art, murals as well as music (I play the drums). You can find my work on Northgate Road by The Wilds’ car park, a mural that I worked on with BRL. I’m literally everywhere at once, so if there is something going on, don’t be surprised to see me!

I’ve been with Church At Barking Riverside for a couple of years, drumming in their worship team and have helped with artwork from time to time!

I’m looking for God to move in Barking, most especially for the youth to get ready for God’s phone call, using creative media to ignite their passion for God!

Jeorgina Soares – Youth & Families Lead

I’m a mother of 4 boys, CEO of Triangoals & JDS Striving for Excellence, a Youth Business Mentor and a Muilt-Award Winner.

I focus on supporting youths excel in the UK and Africa, by providing mentoring & wellbeing programmes as well as supporting them with career development. I have a passion for community support & engagement and love to see young people do well.

I am so excited to join the team at Church At Barking Riverside as it’s something I have always wanted to do; support the youth in our borough to excel and reach the potential and purpose God intended for them. I’m looking forward to empowering young people to strive for a better future with Jesus at the heart.

So there we are, the new additions to the dream team, here to empower and create disciples and join in with His work right here in Barking Riverside!

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