Howard Jones, minister at Socketts Heath Baptist Church, is returning to his homeland of Wales.

This coming Sunday – 2 May – is his last before taking up a new post at Caerphilly Baptist Church.

At the Grays Leaders Prayer gathering this week on Thursday 29 May, a number of ‘regulars’ were able to bid Howard a fond farewell.

He was presented with a card and a book, ‘Around Grays’, which is full of photos from down the years.

Steve Morley and Tim Harrold remembered with some amusement the hilarity we had shared with Howard during the GSUS Live mission to local schools in September and October 2008. Much banter was exchanged as we worked together on the project. Howard led sessions with the young people who came on board the lorry’s classroom which uses interactive technology to present the Christian message to students using an RE format.

We will all miss that Welsh humour and Howard’s scriptural insights at the GLP meetings. The GLP have enjoyed having the opportunities to meet at Socketts Heath Baptist Church on a fairly regular basis (and we hope this will continue when the new minister arrives).

Socketts Heath Baptist Church will no doubt be marking the departure of Howard after just four years at the their services this coming Sunday.

We are sure there will be a welcome awaiting Howard and Linda in the valleys of the “Holy Land”. We will miss you!

Present were (from left to right in the photo):
Lara Akinola (Prayer4Thurrock); Ruth Mitchell (Grays URC); Steve Williams (West Horndon Parish Church); Colin Baker (Grays Baptist Church); Howard; Steve Morley (West Thurrock Chapel); Paul Cave (Port Chaplain, Tilbury Seafarers’ Centre); photo by Tim Harrold

A number of GLP-ers who couldn’t make it sent their greetings: Rosemary Pritchard of Grays Methodist Church (in the US); Andy Higgs of the Stifford parishes (mucking about on the river!); Pete Howe of Thurrock Christian Fellowship; and Darren Barlow of Grays Parish Church.