Steve Morley made his last appearance at the Grays Leaders Prayer gathering on Thursday (15 July).

PICT19052Steve (shown here with Colin Baker) has attended the weekly payer time whenever he can since the GLP’s inception just over 7 years ago. It’s usually because he’s been doing an assembly at a local primary school or running a holiday club that he hasn’t been able to come – and so those who have been there have prayed for him!

After he attended the GLP, Steve went on to do his last assembly.

For the past 20 years, Steve has been a Counties’ Evangelist, telling the stories of Jesus and the Bible to thousands of children during that time, always with illustrations. He is lovingly known by a few generations of local children – many of whom are now adults – as “Mr Morley”.

Steve has also been an elder and regular speaker at West Thurrock Chapel, having come to faith in 1987 after talking with Thurrock Christian Fellowship’s Keith Ford, with whom he worked at Thames Board Mills.

He has been a strong supporter and advocate of cross-denominational co-operation and church unity, and has spoken on a number of occasions at St Clement’s, just up the road from the Chapel in West Thurrock. Over the years, Steve has been a part of the Thurrock Schools Christian Worker Group and has been the facilitator of three visits of GSUS Live to local secondary schools (in 2002, 2005 and 2008). And, as reported elsewhere on the Transformation Thurrock website, Steve has been Deputy Leader of the West Thurrock Bar’N’Bus team since it’s start until recently.

As from 31 August, Steve will be working as Site Co-ordinator and Pastoral Assistant at Kingsley Hall Church & Community Centre in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham. The Hall is used by the community throughout the week on a fairly constant basis, and holds services every Sunday. Please take a look at for more about the Hall and its fascinating history.

PICT19042This week’s GLP was held at St Mary’s in North Stifford. Twelve local church leaders, clergy, pastors and representatives came together to pray through a number of topics – and for Steve. Everyone present gathered around Steve, laying hands on him and sending him off with a blessing (right). This word was read out for him:

Ephesians 3:14 – 4:6
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

PICT19062The Grays Leaders’ Prayer, St Mary’s, North Stifford, 15 July 2010
from left to right:
Rev Michelle Reynolds, St Clement’s, West Thurrock & Grays Team Ministry
Rev Darren Barlow, SS Peter & Paul, Grays & Grays Team Ministry (Team Leader)
Rev Andy Higgs, St Mary’s, North Stifford & St Cedd’s, Stifford Clays
Colin Baker, pastor of Grays Baptist Church
Paul Cave, Sailors’ Society, Tilbury Docks etc.
Jean Catton, Grays Baptist Church
Rev David Redfield, SS Peter & Paul, Grays & Grays Team Ministry
Rev Rosemary Pritchard, Grays Methodist Church
Rev Christine Williams, St Mary’s, Little Thurrock & Grays Team Ministry

Thank you Steve for all your blessing to the borough of Thurrock, to the GLP, and to the children and young people in local schools and on the bus. The Lord be with you and Dawn as you walk into your new future, full of faith and excitement, to the glory of Jesus Christ. We can only echo this song of blessing by ‘true believer’ Bob Dylan…

Forever Young
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
PICT16793Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young
Copyright © 1973 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music

Bottom picture: Steve at the last ever Grays Athletic match played at The Rec in Bridge Road, Grays, at the end of the 2009-2010 season. (Steve was a regular supporter of the team.)