Havering Deanery Vision One of the biggest deaneries in the Diocese, Havering contains 23 parishes ministering to 250,000 people. A snapshot from the air would reveal parkland and countryside as well as a lot of urban development. Geographically Havering stretches from Collier Row Romford to Rainham and Wennington, Upminister and Cranham and includes the village of North Ockendon. In the midst are the Harold Hill and Harold Wood. Historically, the village of Havering-atte-Bower (which gave its name to the Borough) was the site of King Edward the Confessor’s palace; hence the frequent mention of St Edward locally and one of the main town centre churches in Romford is dedicated to him. Within the Deanery one can find every type of churchmanship within the C of E. We are in truth a microcosm of present day C of E life as we seek to work together for the good of God’s Kingdom. We hold regular Chapter meetings for local clergy and we try to have fun together alongside the fellowship and business sides of life. This variety of church life means that along with more traditional church services one can find Fresh Expressions of church like the Deeper Lounge recently established in the centre of Romford to minister to clubbers. Romford Street Pastors began three years ago and they now use the Deeper Lounge as their base. The parish of the Good Shepherd has started “Messy Church” which is an informal time of creativity, worship and fellowship for families. Harold Wood, St Peter’s church has just completed a massive building project. Our Deanery Vision picks up on the 5 marks of mission, broadly summarised under the heading living and witnessing to the good news of the gospel. And we are actively pursuing ways in which that Vision can best be implemented. One of the most exciting aspects of Christian ministry for us at the moment is in the schools. Prayer Rooms have been initiated in many schools in the Borough, usually just for one week but with amazing results and feedback from the children who have attended. St. Edward’s Church of England School and Sixth Form College in our Deanery has gone from strength to strength and provides a Christian education for young men and women from the age of 11 to 18. Work among young people is such a priority that the Deanery decided to appoint a Youth Worker to stimulate work amongst this age group in parishes across the Deanery as one half of a job with the other part being a Christian presence in one of our local Secondary Schools, Bower Park. Sam Tagg, the person appointed, is coming to the end of his first year (2010) and has already made a broad impact. Ecumenically there is strong co-operation with other Christian groups and this takes various forms, some of it inspired and co-ordinated by Across Havering – an ecumenical evangelical organisation that brings together many church leaders from all over the Borough. We have held a Global day of Prayer event locally for the past two years and a Watchnight Service on New Year’s Eve. New churches are springing up in the area and we endeavour to build relationship with those too. We are as a Deanery looking forward to next year’s Bible events as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. It was with a real sense of achievement that we saw our recommendation to celebrate this “Year of the Bible” be adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England. Havering is certainly an exciting place to live and the Deanery is in good heart whilst not being complacent about the task in hand. We know we can’t “stand still” and that the church must change and adapt its approach and find new and authentic ways of ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a growing and diverse population, for which we value your prayers.