There With You: Havering churches come together in 24 hours of prayer initiative

PUBLISHED: 12:10 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 21 April 2020

Reverend Kevin Browning. Picture: Kevin Browning

Reverend Kevin Browning. Picture: Kevin Browning

Kevin Browning

Churches across Havering broadcast 24 hours of prayer online on Sunday in a bid to bring the borough together.

A special event held on Zoom during 24 hours of prayer carried out by churches across Havering. Picture: Kevin BrowningA special event held on Zoom during 24 hours of prayer carried out by churches across Havering. Picture: Kevin Browning

They used video conferencing tools such as Zoom to reach residents.

Twenty-two churches took part, with each one taking at least an hour of prayer during the day.

The day also featured a special one hour event, featuring worship and prayer, which was co-hosted by the Rev Kevin Browning, the Mayor of Havering’s chaplain, along with Rev Gary Seithel, from Across Havering, and Jane Schofield Almond.

Mayor of Havering, Councillor Michael Deon Burton, attended online and read a prayer.

He said that he also gave a speech in which he revealed his pride at the efforts of Havering residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Rev Browning, from St John’s and St Matthew’s Church in South End Road, Rainham, supported the organisation of the event and he confirmed that two more 24-hour prayer broadcasts are planned for May and June 19.

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He said the collaborations would represent a “symbol of Havering coming together” and added: “We have got one of the largest groups of the elderly in the area which is one reason why we wanted to do this.

“It is a positive coming together of a whole range of different backgrounds with one another to pray for the borough and hopefully we make a difference.”

Three members of staff at Queen’s Hospital in Romford are part of St John’s and St Matthew’s, and “it is important that we pray for them and their safety”, he said.

Churches are among the places that have been forced to close following the implementation of government restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Rev Browning revealed his church has been using Facebook and YouTube to broadcast services and reach churchgoers during the coronavirus crisis.

“It has been a challenge for a lot of us really as we have had to step up to technology in particular.

“I think it is a shake-up call for the church and Christians to see how we communicate our message across the borough.”

Cllr Deon Burton said he was humbled by the support for the initiative, adding: “I have never been so proud of so many who are intent that not even the few shall be forgotten or left unsupported.”

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