On Saturday 4 February the Thames Gateway Prayernet (TGP) met together in the Seafarers’ Centre in Tilbury Docks.
The date and venue were chosen because it was on the same Saturday in 2009 – eight years ago – that the TGP first met in the very same place.
Port Chaplain Frans Sahetapy hosted the assembled crew of 15 from the boroughs along the River Thames in East London, South Essex and North Kent.
The TGP had not met for sometime, although various members had undertaken separate local prayer ventures. For instance, one has been prayer walking down the River Lea from Luton and aims soon to complete the final 8-mile stretch to where it enters the Thames almost opposite the O2 at Greenwich.
There was a time of worship led by Bob Bain, and this was followed by prayer and then discussion about where the TGP are at. This was quite a deep conversation with reports from most of the areas represented.
- Jane Almond (Romford, Havering)
- Bob & Mary Bain (Romford, Havering)
- Avril & Andrew Betts-Brown (Castle Point)
- Mary George (The Burn 24-7 Gravesend)
- Tim & Vera Harrold (Transformation Thurrock)
- Nick & Linda Holt (Hornchurch, Havering)
- Liz Pooley (Dartford)
- Frans Sahetapy (Sailors Society)
- Geoffrey Thorrington-Hassle (Tower Hamlets)
- David Vincent (London Prayer Room / Potters Bar)
- Jill Wright (Cliffe & Grain)
Some were unable to attend and sent their apologies.
After lunch, there was a great deal of deliberation as to where the TGP believes Holy Spirit is leading them to gather to pray in the upcoming period. In part, there is the important consideration to ‘steward the victories’, as Alastair Petrie would say, of past skirmishes along the river (see previous posts to get some idea of where the TGP has taken prayer actions).
Places that the TGP will visit in the near future are Canvey Island; Grain; the confluence of the Lea and the Thames; the Thurrock Riverside Nature Park at Mucking (with views of the DP World London Gateway port); Gravesend; the Paramount theme park site at Swanscombe; some places along the river in London; and possibly a prayer voyage upon the Princess Pocahontas from Gravesend and/or Tilbury to Westminster and back, just as we did in 2009 and 2010.
Of course, there are plenty of other places on both sides of the river that the TGP could and will gather at in the next couple of years. But, for now, the TGP is back up and running, and the next part of the journey is just beginning.
With huge thanks to Frans (right) and the Seafarers’ Centre for their generous hospitality.