From January 2021, and throughout the period while we are without a minister, Jane Blackall will be our Ministry Coordinator at Essex Church. She’ll be organising our services, leading worship once or twice a month, and encouraging members to contribute to congregational services. We’ll also have occasional guest preachers not least our former minister Sarah who we’ll be seeing at least once a month for the time being. Jane is your main point of contact in relation to congregational activities.
Jane was previously our congregational Outreach Officer (2008-2020), taking care of congregational communications such as a regular newsletter, website, podcast, and other forms of publicity. Jane also oversaw organisation of the church calendar, and worked on developing the programme of church events, with a particular interest in providing religious and spiritual education for adults and offering small group facilitation. In 2020, during the pandemic, she facilitated the congregation’s switch to Zoom services and set up our new YouTube channel. In the past year Jane has also offered regular online ‘Heart and Soul’ spiritual gatherings which reach people far beyond our Kensington congregation. She will continue to look after these tasks in her new role. Additionally, throughout the spring, Jane will be carrying out her student placement at Essex Church, as part of the requirements for her ministry training with Unitarian College which is due to finish later in 2021.
Jane says: “I am able to put a precise date on it: the first time I set foot in Essex Church was 18th April 1999. Over the intervening years I have gradually got more and more involved in the work of running Essex Church and also in nationwide projects for the Unitarian denomination. Fairly soon after joining this congregation I offered to set up a website for the church and have been the ‘webmistress’ ever since. I have edited the newsletter since about 2001 (I think, but I’ve rather lost count now!), set up our first engagement group back in 2002, been a member of various committees, and got involved in many other exciting and challenging projects along the way. Through getting involved in the wider movement I have developed a particular interest in small groups, and have been involved in organising Hucklow Summer School since 2005, and was also a member of the Unitarian Engagement Support Panel for a number of years. Since 2008 I have held a part-time role on the staff at Essex Church. I am hugely grateful for all the opportunities and encouragement I have been given by this congregation down the years. This has now led to me training for ministry.“
To contact our Ministry Coordinator, email: firstname.lastname@example.org