At our staff meetings on a Tuesday, we always kick off with a prayer and then go on to talk about encouragements from the previous weeks before going into business. I know what you’re thinking, there was already a blog about encouragement recently. And you’d be right. There was, just after Easter, because we had a great couple of weeks as a church family. So then, how does this blog differ I hear you ask? Well, this is all about my personal encouragement from the last week. Indulge me this once, as… Read More

Making Room For The Marginalised

It’s the last week of Advent and Christmas is just 4 sleeps away! This week’s devotional scripture is: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the… Read More

Making Room For Community

We’re in the 3rd week of Advent and as we continue with our devotional we are looking at another verse from Luke: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she… Read More


By Urbain Yombe Christmas is approaching at full speed, people are thinking about the food we’re going to eat at and recipes are coming out the drawers. What is your favourite Christmas food? Do you know how it is made? Do you know the ingredients used to make it? Mince pies are one of the most popular foods at Christmas. And these ingredients all go into making them delicious: plain flour, lard, butter, milk, salt, sugar, and egg (for the pastry); and mincemeat, tangerines, lemon zest and apple (for the filling). When… Read More

Thriving from the inside out

Need a drink? Last week Sam was talking about how Christian thriving doesn’t start and end with good life circumstances; nice house, family, and car, but by wanting Jesus, finding our life in Him. You could say – thriving from the inside out. And that starts by being thirsty, thirsty for Jesus. Once you know your thirsty, the next thing you do is go get a drink and it’s the same here, we go to Jesus, we come to Him in prayer. This week we’re exploring how when we’ve come to Jesus,… Read More

Let’s make it personal – what about you?

On Sunday night we shared our first vision talk (you can catch up here) and now it’s time to ask: what could this mean for you? We shared how, 2 years ago, we committed to leaving our life as we knew it to move to Barking Riverside and start a new worshipping community here. The first thing we did was to spend time listening, getting to know the area and people here, and asking God: what are you doing here? What do you want to see? What came out of that time… Read More

‘Kingdoms’ – get ready for Sunday@6pm

The word ‘Kingdom’ is one we usually hear in epic films set in medieval times or earlier. Today instead we think in terms of nations, even though we live in the United Kingdom, ‘Kingdom’ sounds outdated. Last week Anna wrote about the invitation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to ‘Come in… Join us’. But if we respond to the invite, where are they and what are they doing? In the Bible Jesus gave another invitation which gives us a clue. In fact, this one sentence is the one chosen by… Read More

“Come in…”

Over the last 6 months, ‘come in’ wasn’t something we heard much of, until businesses started slowly reopening in the summer and the government were encouraging us to get back to work and eat out. Now we’re facing a second wave with increasing restrictions and the prospect again of neither being invited in nor being able to invite others to ‘come in’, it’s quite depressing. When I was praying the other day, I felt God saying to me “Come in… join us”. I don’t know what that makes you think of, but… Read More

United Breaks Out – a chance to start your summer with God

This weekend would normally see many of us trekking to the East of England showground to camp in a field. Each summer thousands of people from across the country come together to have a week with nothing else to do but worship Jesus, have fun together and learn more about God, at United, the summer conference of New Wine network of churches. This year we will be camping at home, me in my bed, the boys possibly in the garden. But there is still a range of content that we can all… Read More

Something personal from Pentecost: Dreams for Barking Riverside and encouragement for today

Can I share something personal with you?

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