New Church Community to Take Root in East Finchley
A new worshipping community will be launched in East Finchley this October, as part of an initiative to reach out to, and support residents on North London estates.
Eden East Finchley is a new Christian community, born out of a partnership between church@five (part of St Barnabas church, Woodside Park), the Message Trust and local charity Hope North London, with the aim of supporting residents from local estates. Once established, Eden East Finchley will seek to serve those people living on The Grange, Strawberry Vale and Market Place/Prospect Ring, which were flagged up in the last census as areas of need in the Borough of Barnet.
The Eden East Finchley team will aim to complement the existing work of church@five in Strawberry Vale, itself a new church plant, sprung from St Barnabas 7 years ago and which already offers not only regular Sunday services, but also midweek activities for all ages.
The Eden East Finchley team will all live amongst the community, to experience what their neighbour’s experience. They will work to build positive and genuine relationships with the local community as they share their ministry through events and groups, and provide accessible, front-line pastoral support to residents when needed.
Eden East Finchley will be led by both:
- Jamie Fletcher, Eden Pioneer Leader. Jamie has recently moved from Latimer Road in West London, where he lived for five years and recently worked to provide pastoral support to the survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. He and his family are now living behind The Grange, and will spearhead the work of Eden East Finchley as the project strives to build positive and genuine relationships as part of the community.
- The Revd Helen Shannon, Associate Minister at St Barnabas. Helen was born in Finchley and grew up going to church but never had a personal faith in Jesus. In her teenage years, she “got herself into all sorts of trouble” and became a single mum at eighteen. When her son was born she started to attend St Barnabas Church where she encountered Jesus and her life started to transform. The vicar and team there encouraged her to get involved in ministry at a very early stage and she has had various roles at the church over the years including cleaner, children’s worker, community pastor and is now part of the clergy team. She currently leads church@five at Strawberry Vale, and is also the Projects Director of Hope North London, which works with other local organisations to provide activities and facilities for children, young people, families and communities in the North London area.
Together, Eden East Finchley will support the work of church@five across all three estates, working to empower local residents, and serve the local community, particularly those who are in the most need.
Helen Shannon said:
“I know from my own personal experiences of the powerful role which the church can play in helping to bring stability and direction to those who are struggling in life. church@five has already had an important impact in Strawberry Vale, and I hope that Eden East Finchley can share in this work and play an even bigger role helping to transform lives across the East Finchley area.”
Jamie Fletcher said:
“I am really excited to begin my work as Pioneer Leader at Eden East Finchley. Eden is an ambitious project, but it has a proven track record in areas as diverse as London, Merseyside and Manchester. We live in these areas, and we want to see them release their potential of being vibrant and thriving communities in which people are able to feel supported and part of a community.”
Eden East Finchley is part of a new initiative by the Church of England’s Centre for Church Planting & Growth, to help establish new churches and Christian communities in estates and inner cities to share the good news of Jesus and help support local communities.
The official launch of Eden East Finchley will take place on Sunday, 15th October at 5pm at the Green Man Community Centre, East Finchley and will be attended by the Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton and Sam Ward, Director of Ministry for the Message Trust.