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

Church Leader

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

Church Leader

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.

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.

Lockdown Hobby:

Developing myself and learning new skills.

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!

Lockdown Hobby:

Leading online art classes.

Zahra Awani

Communications & Operations Lead

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 ( and crafts: knitting, cross stitching and jigsaw puzzles (if framing completed puzzles count as a craft…?)

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