Just had such a really great weekend!
All Saints Church in Bury Park, Luton has been supporting me for years and years and years ~ and the connection goes back to their former vicar, Rev. Sam Prasadam, who had been CMS Area Secretary in the NE of England before moving to Luton in the late 1980’s. We also had a connection at the same time through Sam between my home church in Heighington, Co. Durham and All Saints, Luton, a north-south, rural-urban link ~ involving exchange visits and prayer ~ all sorts of lasting friendships were made. So I’ve known many of the Luton folks for years ~ and they are all SO lovely!
This weekend I met their new vicar, Rev. David Kesterton for the first time, and was warmly welcomed with such amazing hospitality by him and his family. Showed them my power point, and ate and ate and ate!
David has a great website about the church, which describes All Saints:
All Saints is situated in an area with a very rich ethnic, cultural and religious mix. What was once a traditional white urban area of late 19th century homes changed during the 1950’s and 60’s as it became home to many Caribbean people. They now make up a large part of our congregation with the islands of St Vincent, Barbados and Jamaica being ‘home’ to many, though Luton is now ‘home’ to their children. Later new residents, mainly from Pakistan and Kashmir, again changed the nature of the area, and Bury Park is now a shopping centre with a very definite Asian flavour. We have welcomed into the church family newcomers from Pakistan, from Nigeria, from Georgia, from Ghana and from Zimbabwe.
The church is of a traditional design, built in 1923, though we celebrated the centenary of the first building (now the Church Hall) on 12th December 2007. The style of the worship is moderately traditional catholic. We use vestments and mostly sing traditional hymns, but are certainly not ‘stick in the mud!’ and like to try innovations too! Our style tends to be rather ‘laid-back’ but this doesn’t mean that our worship or theology is slack and thoughtless, just rather informal but sincere and at the centre of our lives.
This morning, Sunday – walked around the area, attended the morning service at All Saints, gave a talk during the sermon time, took loads of photos and met lots of really friendly people……
The parish also includes St. Peter’s Church, in Dallow, Luton, and I’ve been there many times too. Spoke at the service at 11:00am, followed by coffee……
St Peter’s is situated at the top end of Dallow Road in a culturally diverse community which includes people from Pakistan, India, Poland and Romania. The original St Peter’s was situated on the corner of St Peter’s Road and Dallow Road on land where there is now a small park.
The original St Peters Church closed in 1964 and the present building, situated on the corner of Harefield Road and Dallow Road was opened for worship in 1972. The new St Peter’s Church centre was funded by donations from the local community and provided a larger and more flexible space for the growing church.
A family communion service is held each Sunday at 11 am. The intimate atmosphere of being gathered around the altar in a building designed to serve the needs of the local people brings a greater reality to the offering of ourselves to God in worship and an awareness of being part of the community. We offer a warm welcome to all.
Such a wonderful welcome from everyone in Luton ~ a big THANK YOU to you all for all your support and care, your smiles and oh, so many wonderful memories!