Sitting on the ‘Essex Riviera’, the borough of Southend is known for being the driest town in the UK but also for its thriving assortment of Baptist churches. Avenue Baptist Church is one of the oldest, located in the suburb of Westcliff-on-Sea for almost 150 years.
The seaside town has seen a steady stream of people moving from London, which has inevitably meant a change in demographics with a growing number of first generation migrants now calling Westcliff ‘home’.
Avenue Baptist has sought to be a hospitable place for all people and therefore the church has welcomed those with a variety of backgrounds; from learning disabilities to those born in other countries and students from the local acting school. This has made Avenue a diverse and vibrant place to belong.
The church has two ministers; Revd Andrew Picton and Revd Jim Kilpin, and a Parish Nurse. There is a history of creative mission evidenced by the number of churches planted by Avenue over the years across the Borough. This legacy has been built on by numerous missional activities including: Parish Nursing, a bereavement group, Contact Centre, an all-ability toddler group, Chaplaincy in College and University, football teams and a playgroup. It is hoped these community links will be developed by the appointment of a Children and Family worker and the establishment of a team with to organise creative missional events.
• Please pray that our missional work will see people come to and grow in faith.
• Do pray that our diversity will increasingly become a source of strength and mission in the life of the church.
• Pray for the church’s relationship with a local primary school and the many missional opportunities this brings with the appointment of a Children and Family worker.