Meet The Team

Below are the core team at Church at Barking Riverside.

We are all about walking the way Jesus taught us and empowering others to do the same on their journey with God.

Everyone is welcome, so please check out how you can Join In with us or Get In Touch.


Anna Pollard

I arrived in Thames View in 2019 and with my family, Sam and two young kids we’re now in the latest builds at Barking Riverside and loving our new community. Having spent most of my life moving around middle England, never north of Nottingham or south of London; we most recently spent 8 years in the land of The Only Way is Essex in Loughton, which helped glam me up, but I’ve still never had a mani. Leading a church is a first for me, my background is science, health, ethics and community engagement. But I’m passionate about how faith impacts our whole lives and world.

Lockdown Hobby:

Trying to stay sane in a house of noise. At the start of lockdown some worthy efforts of morning exercise with Joe Wicks, now reduced to jumping on the kids’ trampoline after dinner.

Sam Pollard

Born and bred in Birmingham and a long-suffering Aston Villa fan, I’m married to Anna and dad to Leo and Cora, that have just turned 6 and 3. Brought up in a Christian family I’ve tested faith through studying Philosophy and living through major challenges in finance, health, and mental health in myself and those around me. I’m passionate about the reality of Jesus in every life and situation, having fun on the way and seeing the best in every person. That’s what has led me to Barking Riverside and all that’s ahead.

Lockdown Hobby:

A daily dose of Biscoff spread on toast 🙂 Plus finally getting my guitars out of storage.

Urbain Yombe

I am originally from the Republic of Congo while my wife, Ivanete Gama, is originally from Brazil. We met in Portugal where our Portuguese daughter Rebeca was born. We moved to the UK in 2008, where our British son Jesse was born. We have been living here, in Thames View, since 2010. We have been a part of the Church at Barking Riverside since July 2020, and will be ordained as Curate in September 2020. I look forward to serving our community.

Lockdown Hobby:

I have been walking around our neighbourhood as I have never done before. For the 1st time in years, I have discovered Barking Creek Park (Creek Barrier) and the Wild Riverside path at Barking Riverside.

Zahra Awani

A North Londoner through and through, but originally from Ghana and Dominica, and married to a Nigerian. My husband, Dee, and I are fairly new to East London – East Londoners since 2016, Barking Riversiders since Jan 2020 – and loving it. I recently left the world of marketing for a more fulfilling, close to home role. I’m so excited to work with Church at Barking Riverside to help support and grow our community.

Lockdown Hobby:

Coding, blogging (https://misstomrsa.com/) and crafts: knitting, cross stitching and jigsaw puzzles (if framing completed puzzles count as a craft…?)

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