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Refreshed building, vision and purpose at St Lawrence, Eastcote
Over the past six months, extensive renovation has taken place in the church building at St Lawrence, Eastcote. A combination of the COVID19 pandemic and the church’s aged gas heaters being condemned had forced worshippers to meet online and latterly in the church hall. The gas heaters have now been replaced with a modern, energy efficient system, the electrical infrastructure of the church has been renewed, bespoke lighting and redecoration make the place of worship feel uplifting and welcoming. New audio-visual equipment will provide for community use of the space, as well as supporting worship.
The £0.5 million renovation of the building has given the church community the chance to put into action the vision that has emerged as part of an intensive period of ministry directed to renewal of the parish’s mission. St Lawrence, the patron saint of the church, has provided inspiration to understand “the people of Eastcote as the treasure of God”. As part of its Christian witness, the parish is seeking to use its resources to serve the well-being and development of the wider community.
The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, Bishop of Willesden, met the newly elected Mayor of Hillingdon, the Worshipful Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana and community leaders, as he came to bless renovation works completed on the parish church.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana said,
“It was a real pleasure that the first day of my engagements since my election included St Lawrence Church, Eastcote for the blessing of the renovation works there and rededication of the church community’s life by the Bishop of Willesden. I was impressed at how this faith group is seeking to live out their Christian belief by seeking partnership with their local community to enrich everyone’s lives and build deeper connections between people in Eastcote. This work is much needed: I hope and trust that they will be deeply blessed in their endeavours.”
The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, Bishop of Willesden, said,
“It was a delight to join the people of St Lawrence for a service of blessing and re-dedication following extensive renovation work done in the church building. I first visited St Lawrence last autumn as the place was a busy work site covered in dust. The church is now a bright and inviting place, clearly an echo to St Lawrence’s ambition to be a beacon of life and hope at the heart of Eastcote. I was particularly encouraged to see various community organisations present to mark the occasion. This bodes well for the future, and the commitment to serve the community in partnership with others. A particular mention goes to Fr John Seymour who, since his appointment, has helped St Lawrence church return to the life of its patron Saint for inspiration to re-imagine its vision: ‘The people of Eastcote are the treasure of God’.”
Fr John, interim minister at St Lawrence’s since February 2020 said,
“Worshippers have had a disrupted and disorientating time with COVID and then failure of the church heating. However, this hasn’t all been about loss: the time has allowed the parish to re-imagine its ministry. The church now looks smart, attractive, and welcoming. It communicates the new start the worshipping community has made. This is an exciting moment for us all and the fruit of reflection and hard work. The church doors are now open – literally and symbolically.”