Prayer Letter July 2021

Erica, with husband Dave and Beau

Hello, my name is Erica, and I will soon be moving to Purfleet-on-Thames to take up the post of Missional Listener.

A Missional Listener is someone who lives in a community, becoming a part of it in the way that Jesus did when he came to live among us (John 1:14). I hope to really get to know people and make good, mutual friendships, which will enable me to understand what people’s needs are, and where God is already working in their lives. From this position, I can do ‘360 degree listening’ – that is, listening to individuals, to the wider community, to the culture and how it is shifting, to other churches and Christians already living and working in the area, to local organisations (professional and voluntary) working for people’s needs, and most of all to God himself, through prayer and searching the Bible and being guided by the Spirit. Through this I hope to discern what is God’s vision for Purfleet, and how he is asking us to join in with it.

This post has come about through a group of local Christians who are passionate about the needs and potentials of this overlooked area, and who formed the charity ‘Love Purfleet’. Purfleet-on-Thames (as it has now been renamed) is a small town on the north side of the river, on which it has historically relied, but which is now going through a significant process of regeneration and redevelopment. My first impressions of Purfleet are of a place crying out for community – there is no obvious ‘centre’ or gathering place where people could meet. I am sure that community is happening, and I am determined to find out where and what that looks like. I am sure that my impressions will change as I live there and get to know people. I am excited, as well as a little daunted, to be taking on this role. I am a Newly Accredited Baptist minister, who trained in a pioneering placement for 5 years while studying at Spurgeon’s College, and so I come with some experience but also with much to learn. You can find more of my story here (it was recorded Before Covid!) I will be moving to Purfleet with my dog Beau, but my family will be staying in Cambridge and I will commute back weekly to visit them (on a different day each time, so that I never miss out on what is happening in Purfleet!) I am aware that this will be a challenge, but I believe that God is doing something in Purfleet, and I am excited to be a part of finding out what that is!

If you’d like to get involved then please look at this leaflet, or contact me using the Get Involved page on this website.

Prayer Banner

Praise God for

  • Erica’s call to Purfleet
  • Her recent Ordination Service in Cambridge
  • Home Mission grant
  • Provision of additional funds to purchase the flat
  • Local churches who have offered support

Please pray for

  • Erica’s preparation to move to Purfleet
  • Dave (Erica’s husband) and her family
  • Flat purchase to go through and repairs to be complete in time
  • Local churches and individuals to get involved
  • Finances to cover additional costs

Meet the Steering Group

Rev Claire Blatchford has been part of the Steering Group since 2018. She is currently the minister of Cranham Baptist Church but will soon take up the role of Regional Minister for the EBA.