Thurrock’s Lee goes to Westcliff

IMG0340Lee Mullen, who used to be youth worker at St Clement’s in West Thurrock, has completed the long process of Bible college training (in Durham) and curacy (at St Andrew’s, Chelmsford) to become parish priest at St Saviour’s, Westcliff-on-Sea.

Lee was one of the founders of the Pure interchurch youth gatherings that took place in a host of church venues around the borough between about 2003 and 2007.

The name Pure was decided upon at a top level executive meeting between Lee and then local church youth workers Gareth Marsh (who worked at St Margaret’s, Stanford-le-Hope) and Tim Harrold  (who worked at Thurrock Christian Fellowship) when, over lunch, in frustration at not being able to come up with a suitable name, found inspiration in the tub of Pure margarine that sat on the table.

IMG03432Gareth, his wife Sarah, and Tim attended Lee’s collation in Westcliff last Thursday evening (21 July). Also present from Thurrock were Sue & Jim Whitham from St Clement’s, and their former vicar Rev Jill Edwards and her husband Martin.

The service was led by the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, the recently installed Bishop of Chelmsford, with the Lee’s induction conducted by the Venerable David Lowman, Archdeacon of Southend.

The Bishop’s message was a challenge to those present to ‘know where you live’ – we are to be in the world but not of the world, living by Christ’s Kingdom values, and so give our lives over entirely to Jesus.

IMG0342In a packed church building, hymns and songs sung were:

  • ‘The Church’s one foundation’
  • ‘Your love, shining like the sun’
  • ‘Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’
  • ‘Be Thou my vision’
  • ‘Great is Thy faithfulness’

The service was followed by a a fine spread of food in the church hall. Two special cakes welcoming Lee to St Saviour’s had been made, and he was asked to cut one of the cakes in front of everyone.

IMG0344Lee and his wife Donnamarie – also an ex-Thurrock resident – get to live in a six-bedroom vicarage right next to the church, and just a few roads from the sea front.

When Lee was living in the borough, his involvement was active and considerable, not just being part of the Pure team but also as the original driver of the Bar’N’Bus for the Blackshots team, and therefor being key in making links and working across traditional denominational barriers. He maintains an interest in what’s going on in Thurrock – and even occasional checks out this website!

Photos from top to bottom:

  • IMG0346Lee gives the notices for the first time as Vicar of St Saviour’s at the end of his collation service – Bishop Stephen is on the left
  • The Two Revs – Lee with Jill Edwards
  • The two cakes
  • Lee cuts the big cake
  • Mr & Mrs Marsh of Grays Baptist Church enjoying the post-collation refreshments