Change is a fact of life for all of us these days, whether brought about by the pandemic or other circumstances. The church, and East Croydon URC in particular, is no different.
Revd Derrick – saying goodbye
The 9-year ministry amongst us of Revd Derrick Dzandu-Hedidor has come to an end, as he reached the retirement age for URC ministers. Derrick’s appointment first as our Interim Minister, then as our substantive Minister, was unique as he was our first black minister. As we grew to know him, we began to enjoy his preaching and appreciate his pastoral care. Many of us have personal stories we could share about his support in difficult times. He has led us through the process of re-development so that now we are at the point where a new church is becoming not just a dream but a reality, through his hard work and persistence.
On Sunday 25th April we opened up the church so that we could say our thanks and good wishes to Derrick in person, as well as on Zoom. Over 60 people (socially distanced of course) gathered to listen to Derrick’s final sermon as our minister, pay tribute to him and give him gifts. We had over £1000 to spend which enabled us gave him the watch we knew he wanted and a substantial cheque. A gift and flowers for Phyllis completed the presentation. We shall miss him but wish him, Phyllis, Sedem and Sena, who have been such strong supporters, every blessing in the future.
Support from Synod: Revd Peter Flint
The team of Elders and Officers now have the job of leading us through the vacancy. We don’t know how long it will take before we can call a minister but we have already started to work closely with Synod. The Elders and Officers held a Zoom meeting with the Moderator, Revd Bridget Banks.
We are delighted to be able to tell you that the Revd Peter Flint, Minister of New Malden URC has offered to provide help and support as Interim Minister from the end of June until next Spring. His second church at Thames Ditton is closing in June and Peter retires next year, so until then he has the capacity to work with us for about 40% of his time. The Elders and Officers met him on Zoom and liked the prospect of working with him. He will lead a service once a month and chair Elders and Church Meetings. He will also work with us on the re-development as he has experience with similar projects.
Re-opening the church at Pentecost
Kim and Robin Hammond are working hard to make sure that we will have people to lead our services every Sunday. It was good to have Bea Pollard leading our service on 2nd May. We are planning to reopen the church on Sunday 23rd May which, as we are sure you know, is Pentecost. Elaine Leck will be leading our worship on that day. She has done so several times before and we have always enjoyed her worship services. She is very much looking forward to being with us again. Please come and give her, and the church, your support.
Audio Visual system: help needed
We started with five people running the AV system on a Sunday but we are now down to three. We need more people. It’s not difficult so please talk to Grace or Robin and we will show you what is involved.
If you have any items of fellowship news to share please would you let one of the church officers or an Elder know. Similarly, if you need, or know of someone who needs, help or pastoral support please do get in touch. We are here to support each other.
Staying safe and keeping well – a reminder from our A&E consultant.
Dr Jacob Addo has direct experience of the impact of Covid-19, Jacob has stressed that we should be under no illusions. This virus is very real and awful to contract. He strongly recommends that everyone has the vaccine when invited and lots of us already have had one or both jabs.
Preachers for May 2021
2nd Bea Pollard Zoom
9th John Ponsford Zoom
16th Mark Dennis Zoom
23rd Elaine Leck Church
30th Joycelyn Brissett Church
We hope to be able to live stream the services in the church so that people who cannot to be there in person can still join us.
We are grateful to our visiting preachers who willingly give their time to prepare and lead our worship, please give them your support.
Keep well and stay safe