We are a group of churches across denominations, who share the same passion; to demonstrate the love of God to our town. We come together to pray and serve Barking, so that we can bring blessing and trasformation.
We see a church that will stand together in prayer, to see social and spiritual transformation in our community. We see a church that will pray for one another and support one another practically, as the need arises and resources allow. We see a church that will rejoice in what one another is doing and where possible promote it.
We see a Church that will help facilitate and support the dreams of one another in order to advance God’s kingdom in Barking. We see a church that reaches out and meets the needs of the poor and the community, through joint ministries, initiatives and events.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Barking Churches Unite is a registered charity which represents Christian Churches & Christians across the town of Barking. We are committed to working and praying together for the transformation of our community. We believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
We uphold the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith (www.eauk.org). Like Jesus we pray for unity (John 17:21), as Paul commanded, we make an effort to maintain it (Ephesians 4:3) and we believe that therefore God the Father will bless it (Psalm 133)and bring healing to the community through it. (2 Chronicles 7:14).
We understand that unity is not uniformity and as such we are churches that have different expressions of our faith. We believe that we complement one another rather than compete, and that together as the Body of Christ in Barking we can fulfil God’s purpose for our lives in our town.
All the churches in Barking are grouped in 5 zones (loosely based on the Barking Wards) to seek, to develop and to strengthen relationship with one another (churches and leaders).
Our prayer strategy involves:
Street prayer and joint prayer meetings in the 5 zones.
Leaders including children and youth leaders, meeting regularly to pray and share with one another, to develop strong relationships.
An intercessors group (BIN) praying regularly for the Barking community, the BCU ministries & events and for all the churches.
Micah Supported Living
Micah, Food, Grants
Rev Unesu Chindabata
Youth, Outreach, Business
Rev Carlton Smith
HISTORY OF BARKING
Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) is an outer London borough with a population of 212,000. The borough was formed in 1965 initially as the London Borough of Barking, before merging with Dagenham in 1980.
Traditionally a white working class area, Barking and Dagenham has seen one of the most rapid demographic shifts in history. Between 2001 and 2011, people from diverse ethnic minority communities grew from just 19% of the population to 51%. The borough also saw the greatest decrease in its older population, down by nearly 20% during the same period. These shifts were accelerated by the winding down of the Ford plant and sustained patterns of migration dating back to the 1980s. The speed of the demographic transition has posed challenges to social cohesion in the borough.
Waterways are vitally significant as a source of life, and Barking was established originally near the River Roding. The river was a natural gateway to and from the town, a means of transporting both people and goods, whether for good or evil purposes. It was the river that provided an access point from the sea for the Vikings to invade the town in the eighth and ninth centuries.
The most important historical building in Barking is the Abbey; it is in ruins today, but it was a hugely significant. The Abbey was founded in AD 666 by a Christian missionary, Erkenwald and through the years had royal connections and was responsible for caring for the area (including building roads, bridges, owned the lands, provided work and established schools and the Hospital of St Mary & St Thomas). The influence of Christianity and the care shown by Christians for the poor and the sick were apparent in those early centuries of the Abbey. The first spiritual duty of the residents of the Abbey was that of prayer. The Abbey was a source of peace and security in the community.
Just as society looked to the early Christians of the hospice to take on the task of caring for its outcasts, BCU today has taken on the task of caring for the marginalised, the poor and homeless in Barking.
When the Abbey fell to the Dissolution in 1539, the nuns were retired and the keys of the town were handed to the secular authorities, thus surrendering the church’s spiritual authority. Now, more than 400 years later, we believe that God has given a prophetic word that He will take back this spiritual authority and that the spiritual ‘keys’ to the town will be given back to the church.
God’s call to His church remains constant. The Quakers with Elizabeth Fry were esablished in Barking in 1658. Elizabeth Fry had a faith in God, and the humanitarian work she did in reforming the terrible conditions in the women’s prisons of the time was a pivotal point in the history of social reform. She embodied the Christian principles of ministering to the destitute and outcasts of society, those who were ignored and marginalised. She and the Quakers helped the very sick: lepers, prisoners and criminals, and the homeless.
Years later, BCU has been called to do just the same as that of The Quakers and the nuns at The Abbey; to establish ministries to serve the needy and desperate people of Barking.
Our future and vision is shaped on our past, and Barking's history is full of God's faithfulness and favour. We have the honour of simply stepping on the same paths of love and generosity as those Christians of Barking who have gone before us.