Thanksgiving service – report

On Sunday, July 19th, a service of thanksgiving was held to mark the closure of St Andrew’s, Kilburn and London Interfaith Centre (LIFC), the congregation’s numbers having declined over the years as age, infirmity and removal from the area took their toll.

The service celebrated the life together of St Andrew’s URC and St Anne’s Anglican Church; God’s faithfulness and gave thanks for the witness and service by many over the years. The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent and our Moderator, Revd Dr Andrew Prasad attended. Various people spoke of their appreciation of the work of the congregations and LIFC, whose last Director, the Revd Dr John Parry, reminded those who attended of the changing nature of the expression of our faith over the history of the Church.
It was a beautiful service on Sunday, with liturgy arranged by Mother Christine Cargill, Vicar of St Anne’s and Revd Dr John Parry. The URC members received a certificate for their faithful ministry and mission. Revd Maggie Hindley (a former Minister of St Andrew’s and Director of the LIFC) and Revd Jon Dean were present.
In 1997 a new church building in Queen’s Park was opened and shared by St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, West Kilburn and St Anne’s Church of England. Both congregations were well established, St Andrew’s having first opened in 1896. In time, the vision for their shared space grew to include a space for the London Inter Faith Centre, a shared initiative of both congregations. Theirs was an ecumenical partnership which worked well, even though both congregations held their own services.

The closure of St Andrew’s also marked the end of the work of the London Inter Faith Centre. It had been set up to encourage mutual understanding between faiths and ideologies and over the last twenty years made a significant contribution well beyond the London Borough of Brent.

Local Christian communities are formed and dispersed but the mission of God continues. Every Christian is a bearer of Good News, wherever we go, we take good news with us. We give thanks to God for the witness of the two congregations and the vision of cooperation enabled by the inter faith centre.

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