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/ 17 September 2018

Community comes together to launch St Columba

The Bishop of Stepney was joined by local MP Meg Hillier in Hackney Wick on Sunday to celebrate the foundation of a new worshipping community, St Columba East London.

The launch of St Columba was held aboard Elsdale II, a barge moored at East Bay in Hackney Wick, which will house the worshipping community on an interim basis, until it moves to a bespoke floating church commissioned by the Diocese of London last year.

Using water from the canal, Bishop Adrian blessed the barge and led attendees in prayer before joining parishioners of all ages aboard the barge to celebrate the event.

The new floating community hub, which will be run in partnership with the parishes of St Paul’s Old Ford and St Mary of Eton, will help serve the new and existing communities of Hackney Wick, Fish Island and Here East.

The Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, said:

“It was a pleasure to join with colleagues and friends in celebration of the launch of St Columba.  While not yet in a permanent home, the foundation of the worshipping community here in East London is a clear and positive sign that many here in the Capital share a vision for a Church that is Christ-centred and outward looking.”

Dave Pilkington, QEOP Missioner, added:

“With so many changes happening in Hackney Wick and Fish Island it’s important to keep the sense of community that is here and ensure it is open to others. After Sunday’s well-attended launch I’m convinced that St Columba will become an important fixture in the local area, bringing a deeper sense of connection between people, centred in hope and love.”

Commenting on the launch, the Revd James Hughesdon, Vicar of St Paul’s Old Ford, said:

“The new worshipping community has the potential to play an enormous role in the local area, building on the 125 year presence that St Paul’s and St Mary’s have had in East London.  I’m sure I speak for everyone at St Paul’s when I say that we all look forward to seeing what the future holds for St Columba.”

The Revd Sue Makin, Vicar of St Mary of Eton, Hackney Wick said:

“It is a delight to welcome Dave and St Columba into our Parish here at St Mary of Eton, and to celebrate with so many of the community here. We are already enjoying a rich collaborative relationship, and are excited that the community in Hackney wick has been so inspired by the Barge. We very much hope it will be a place where everyone feels welcome, and we’re already looking forward to the next stage with the new boat next summer. All Aboard!”

To find out more about the boat and the community please see the St Colomba website.


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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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