Report by Tim Harrold

TT launch 5On Saturday 13 May 2013, the Transformation Thurrock (TT) celebrated its new charitable status with a celebration at Grays Baptist Church.

Some 40 delegates from across the borough attended, representing 15 fellowships, with a further two fellowships from outside the borough.

We were able to welcome Thurrock’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tunde Ojetola, who wasn’t attending in an official capacity but has always been a huge encourager of TT’s work.

Also present and representing Havering was Tim & Vera Harrold’s fellow Thames Gateway Prayernet member Jane Almond.

Door opened at 8.30am for a continental breakfast of croissants, chocolate brioches, Danish pastries, artisan breads, various spreads, fresh coffee or tea. This had all been sourced, collected and laid out by Kim & Chris Ford of St Catherine’s, East Tilbury, ably helped by Grays Baptists’ Roz Bennett, Shiela Burt and Catherine Hardie in the kitchen, with Brian Atkinson providing some extra muscle where required.

At 9am, TT Chair Colin Baker and Tim Harrold opened precedings and, Simon Wilson of St Margaret’s, Stanford-le-Hope, led a time of worship. Simon began with the encouragement that Transformation Thurrock was laying down a new foundation on which a cornerstone is to be placed, from which a whole new structure can be built.

TT launch 2This was followed by Colin adding to Simon’s word about foundations: he pointed out that often foundations are made of the rubble the old, so the old is not simply cast away, but literally built upon.

Colin then introduced the TT Trustees who were present:

  • Judith Acreman – Thurrock Christian Fellowship, Corringham
  • Roy Edworthy – Treasurer: Besom / The ‘Craftsmen’ Group
  • Kim Ford – St Catherine’s, East Tilbury / Foodbank
  • Frank Gaisie – pastor, Destiny Chapel, South Ockendon
  • Andy Higgs – rector, Stifford Parish (St Mary’s, N Stifford and St Cedd’s, Stifford Clays)
  • Niyi Olujobi – pastor, Church Of His Presence, Grays

Colin also gave a vote of thanks to TT Secretary Andy Blakey, who couldn’t attend the event, for his diligence, administrative prowess and generous giving of time in setting up the Charity. He also thanked Roz Wilson for her sterling work as treasurer for TT over the past 9 years.

Colin then introduced Tim in his new capacity as Creative Consultant for TT.

Tim then led a time of prayer using the 10-year-old Prayer For Thurrock that has recently resurfaced. The prayer provided the basis for further prayer and discussion in groups, who wrote down or drew on sheets of paper responses, ideas and pictures. See the two links to the left of this post for links to the prayer and to the collated sheets.

TT launch 3Treasurer Roy Edworthy began his section by inviting to the front Kim Ford, who brought a challenge from the Lord regarding young people – the youngest person in the room was TCF’s James Gensberg, who’s in his 30s… “Where are the youth?” asked Kim.

This led to other words of provocation and encouragement, the gist of which were:

  • Andy Acreman (TCF) added to the thought son young people by saying that TT and the older generation are here to serve the young, not for the young to serve the older generation: prodigals will return. He also mentioned his ‘Parable of the Flooded Fences’ as an illustration of church without walls: when the tide of blessing rises and inundates the spiritual landscape, the divisions are submerged and disappear from view.
  • Phil Lisgarten (Grays Baptists) made the point that the roots of our faith are in danger of withering and dying: the visible part of the plant with its flowers may still be there, but the young people are losing sight of our Christian roots, and therefore are less likely come to faith.
  • Dennis Brockhurst (St Erkenwald’s, Barking, but a Thurrock resident), said that upon hearing the birds outside singing during a break in the worship, he became aware that TT is entering spring, a new season of growth and activity.
  • Jane Almond likened TT’s ministry to Caleb, quoting Joshua 14:24 – But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. She went on to say that God will ‘give TT the hill country’.

TT launch 8Roy then gave a quick overview of TT’s finances as it transitions into a full working charity. His main points were that:

  • It has taken and is still taking a long time to establish a bank account – we are awaiting the letter to inform us that the account is now active
  • Once up and running, the ability to receive the benefits of Gift Aid will be registered
  • If 100 people gave £10 per month each, that would mean an annual income of £12K + whatever is Gift Aided
  • Someone with bid application and fundraising experience is required – now that TT is a charity, funds can be raised for specific projects (a couple of suggestions have subsequently arisen – if you have any, please contact Roy via TT)
  • Someone with bookkeeping experience is required (ditto)
  • Tim’s relationship with TT will change as he will be ‘given’ work to do as well as continue doing what he has always done (e.g., website and TLP administration, prayer events and mission programmes’ facilitation etc.)

Colin then advertised the Transformation Thurrock Full Launch at 9am on Saturday 7 October 2017 at Park Inn, North Stifford. This will include a full English breakfast and worship will be led by internationally known songwriter Noel Robinson (of City Gates, Ilford). More information will follow.

TT launch 6He also advertised the Thurrock Pentecost 2017 event at 7-9pm on Saturday 3 June at Gateway Peoples’ Centre in Stanford-le-Hope. This will feature worship led by Tom Brown of St George’s (Gravesend) and Global Legacy (Eastgate, Ebbsfleet). For more details please see the link on the left of this post.

The TT breakfast celebration culminated with Rev Andy Higgs leading everyone in The Lord’s Prayer, line by line, appropriating it to the borough and local issues.

Colin closed the event at 10.30am with a vote of thanks to the aforemetioned kitchen team and Simon for leading worship.

Celia Brockhurst handed in the following word she felt the Lord has given her for TT:
This is a momentous moment that will not occur again – standing on the edge of a precipice with God’s glory overflowing.
The question God asks of you is will you step off the edge of the cliff even if there is nothing underneath except the word of God? Stepping off will increase the flow of God’s glory to the hurting people of Thurrock. It will bring increase to the depth of projects in being, and new ones will emerge.
Know that God’s hand is on Thurrock too – in the course of time (it will) bless the world.
Togther with God we are atmosphere changers and darkness dispersers.

TT launch 7>>> Now watch this video which Tim first saw 10 years ago this month and which he recently ‘gave’ to a drummer as a word and picture of challenge – it’s a bit arty, but stick it out to the end… http://
>>> … and this, which Tim discovered today, Thursday 18 May 2017…

Photos show from top to bottom:

  • Colin addressing the delegates
  • Simon leading worship
  • Roy talking about finances
  • Andy A. telling his parable
  • Andy H. saying The Lord’s Prayer
  • The Delegates