St Andrew's, Paddock Wood
St. Andrew’s Church has been an Anglican and Methodist Local Ecumenical Partnership since November 1979. It has been at the heart of the community in Paddock Wood, since 1851, when it first met in a hop pickers hut. Today's church was built in 1955 after the previous church was bombed during the second world war.
The staff team comprises the Vicar, Methodist Minister (30% of her time), an Operations Manager, a Youth Worker and a part time Children and Families Worker. The picture below was taken in 2016 and shows Rev Canon Bryan Knapp, vicar of St Andrew's Paddock Wood, in Bereko with Rev Richard Suki, pastor of St Andrew's, Bereko. The white beads being worn by Rev Canon Bryan Knapp were presented to him by Bereko Town Council and were a great honour to receive.
The church also benefits from four lay readers, a pastoral team, and many volunteers who carry out pastoral and support work in Paddock Wood running everything from young toddlers’ activities through to Bereavement Lunches and support for the elderly. Church members are also supportive of many ‘community groups’ offering chaplaincy and support to Ambulance service, and local schools and serving as Town Councillors.
The link with Bereko is a key part of church life and is overseen by the Mission Partner Support Group. Prayers for Bereko are regularly included in church services and information about Bereko is discussed at Church Council at least annually and shared in Contact, the parish magazine, and in numerous other ways throughout the church year.
The Bereko Fund is a restricted fund that is used to support the church in Bereko with a number of projects. Over the years, these have included building the church, the church toilet block and pastor's house, fitting out both buildings, so they are ready for when electricity is connected, providing rainwater harvesting, the pastor's salary and parish share to Kondoa Diocese, purchase of two motorbikes for the pastor, purchasing beehives as income generating project for the church, helping with the costs of church conferences and a number of other projects.
Rainwater harvesting tanks being installed outside the church
Pastor's house with rainwater harvesting
Electricity cabling being installed