The People's Church
While creating this web site I had two
outstanding bits of advice. One was from the late Revd.
Professor Colin Gunton, Associate Minister to Brentwood URC
and an outstanding world class theologian, Gardener, family
man, lecturer, mentor and friend. He said that many
church web sites talked not enough about God, and
religion. This web site is dedicated to him, and I hope
there is enough about God and religion. The second bit
of sage advice was from Kees Maxey, friend and social
activist. He said that what made a church was not the
building but the people. This page of the web site is
People of the Brentwood United Reformed Church
As a United Reformed Church the Minister
arrives and moves on over a relatively short period - perhaps
five or six years. So many Ministers contribute in their
own way to the development of the Church. In Brentwood
we were very fortunate. Not only did we have some very
good Ministers but we had an Associate Minister - The Revd.
Professor Colin Gunton, who sadly died in 2003. There is
not enough space on this page to describe the achievements of
Colin, it would take a web site all of its own. But to
us he was just Colin. The Associate Minister who stepped
in during periods of interregnum, Who ably chaired the Church
Meeting, who was the rock on which the theology of our little
church was founded and a friend and mentor to all who knew
him. If, as Kees said, the Church is made up of people
rather than buildings I would rather like to think of Colin as
a foundation stone, one of several, but without which the
Church would be much less strong. Colin was one of
the country's leading theologians - arguably one of the most
influential theological thinkers of the last twenty
years. He made our pulpit one of the best known in the
country! His legacy lives on in the many Ministers,
writers and fellow theologians who followed him and, as we do
at Brentwood URC, value his great works.
of a picture of the late Revd. Professor Colin Gunton in the
William Hunter Room at Brentwood URC
Details of the major theological works that
Colin published can be seen here.
For the Church in Brentwood we were honoured by the
publication of Colin's work "Theology through
preaching" a volume containing a number of sermons that
we were lucky enough to have Colin preach to us.
There continues to be much discussion in
academic circles on Colin's enormous influence on English
theology, , see for example
this. There was also a conference on Colin on the
10th September 2007 with papers by Stephen Holmes, Robert
Jenson, John Colwell ( who we are honoured to have preach
here from time to time) and Douglas Knight. The full
extent of Colin's profile can be seen by entering his name
in to Google. He may have been promoted in to the
heavenly hosts, but his work and teachings live on; Praise
Brentwood URC has also been lucky in having
the Revd. Sheila
Maxey for a period of Ministry. She later became
Secretary for Ecumenical Relations for the URC and was
Moderator of the entire URC. Sheila has lived in
Brentwood for many years and despite her obligations and
commitments to the URC nationally has always supported
The former Moderator of the General Assembly, The Revd.
Sheila Maxey (background) and Rosalie Brentnall, Elder, at the
start of morning worship.
We give thanks and praise for the life of our Brother in
Christ, Charles Wrede Steynor who died on the 7th June 2015.
Charles wa another corner stone of our church for more than
fifty years. A true friend and Christian Gentleman, in every
sense of the word.
Well done thy good and faithful servant: Matthew 29
Let us give thanks to the Lord for the
many people who, week in and week out perform duties such as
flower arranging, meeting and greeting in the Vestibule,
being vestry elder and looking after the presiding preacher,
reads the notices, reads the lesson, run the crèche and
young peoples groups and makes the coffee at the end of the
service. Some of these people are:
Gillian Tytherleigh, Margret Gazely, Elaine Austin, Tony and
Margret Cheer, Sue Stevenson,. Rosalie Brentnal, Hilary
Lloyd,. Steve Burns, Stanley Francis, Mary Tate, Bill Crisp,
Tina Farmer, Valerie Robinson, Gabrielle Crowther, Jean and
Moses Tsingano, Jin and Saly Bealey Jenny Mayo, Jim Statford,
, Clive and Caroline Rudkin, Rev S Maxey,
Kees Maxey; and many more who give off their time.
Let us give thanks to God who through his
Son Jesus Christ and with the guidance of the Holy Ghost has
allowed our church to be blessed with so may of the unsung
heroes of God's army on earth - praise the Lord, praise the
Lord indeed. Amen.