Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 13th May 2018.

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope you all had a good week.

Very short news information this week, in fact, we have not had a lot of church news come in for quite a long time, hence the lack of published blogs since Easter.

Manor Road United Reformed church is presently in a period of a very big transformation transition period, where the church is looking at doing some very big repairs on the building. Some of these repairs are desperately needed at Manor Road URC, especially if we hope to have this building not just for this present generation at the church, but future generations who may wish to use this building for church services and community groups who may wish to use our church hall.

For the majority of repairs that are needed in the building, Manor Road URC will be applying for a church grant application for these repairs.

Myself, our Interim Moderator Paul Ashitey and other elders in our church will be meeting with David Skipp (property development officer of Thames Valley Synod) and The Revd. John Campbell ( minister of High Cross URC – Tottenham/North London and interim moderator of Rectory Road URC – Stoke Newington/North London) this coming Thursday 17th may 2018, to discuss Manor Road URC’s Grant Application at the church.

Next Sunday (Pentecost) our church service will be led by our Interim Moderator Dr. Paul Ashitey and this will be a communion service.

After this church service, there will be an AGM church meeting led by Paul Ashitey followed by a church lunch.

This morning our Interim moderator Paul Ashitey told the congregation how he has been observing how members of Manor Road URC have been arriving at church quite late after the 10.30 am starting time (myself-shamefully included here). There is no excuse for me as I live very close on the premises, but I do understand it can be a bit of a rush for some members in the congregation to get to church in time, especially if they have no transportation to come to church. We have for quite a long period been starting church services, about 10 munites later after the 10.30 am deadline and this can make it difficult for preachers to stay after church and have a chat with members of the congregation. So, All of Us (Myself Included ) need to pull together and try to get to church before 10.30 am, so we can start church services at the dot of 10.30 am.

If this continues to be a struggle of members coming in at later times beyond 10.30 am, we all need to be honest about getting at the church before 10.30 am and bring this issue up in the church meeting.

Most of the congregation who were here this morning, hopefully, picked up their church minutes for next Sunday’s AGM meeting… So… ***DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR CHURCH MINUTES BACK NEXT WEEK FOR NEXT WEEK’S AGM MEETING AFTER SERVICE***


OHHH… I do like this power… it’s quite fun.

I promise I won’t let it get to my head though.

Remember**** Church Service begins at****

Don’t forget to bring your friends and families to church.

You are All Very Welcome at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Have a Lovely Week Everyone and enjoy watching the Royal Wedding on Saturday and any celebrations you may be attending.

Roger Howard.






Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 25th March 2018.

Hello Everyone!

Hope your past week was a good week.

Getting ready for Easter?…. Yes/No?…OK…. I won’t go into that scenario then.

We have only a very few notices this week.

Firstly our condolences to members of our congregation who are ill or in hospital at this moment in time.

A shout out in particular to our church secretary Kalu and his wife, who has been away from the church as they have caught the flu. Our past church secretary Anne Crowe who has been away for a number of weeks due to her leg and feet problems, although I hear she is slowly getting better.

Hettie Sears who has been in hospital due to problems with her hip.

I hope you can all get better and join us back soon.

As far as notices this week….

There will be a bible study at Manor Road URC on Tuesday 27th March from 2.00pm till 4.00pm where we will be joined with some members from Rectory Road URC.

Our Good Friday service this coming Friday will be led by Orin Stephens who is a member of High Cross United Reformed Church in Tottenham. Service begins at 10.30 am.

Please bring your friends and families and let us all be here for the saddest of holy days in the Christian calendar.

Our Easter Sunday morning service will be led by our Interim Moderator: Dr. Paul Ashitey and will also be at 10.30 am. This service will be a communion service.


Have a Lovely Week Everyone!


Roger Howard.



Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 11th March 2018.

Hello Everyone!

I hope your past week went well.

There is unfortunately not much news coming from Manor Road church this week, but I have a few delectable delights to get you motivated for holy-week coming up soon.

Our Anne Crowe is still having trouble walking with her legs and feet, so do remember her in your prayers.


A fortnight back a very interesting new BBC2 documentary began called: ‘Civilisations’.

‘Civilisations’ tells the story about different civilizations in our historic time on this planet (nothing new I hear you say) after all we have seen countless programme documentaries on TV about different civilizations in history, YES… but this time…it is being told in a very different and unique way.

This time the way the BBC is documenting about different civilizations… is by telling the historic story of art. This documentary tells the story of different civilizations by documenting how art has had an enormous impact on civilizations and also us as human beings on this planet.

This is a 9-part documentary series for the BBC and it is so complex in terms of telling this historic story that you don’t just have one presenter for this series… you have three presenters.

It is when this series gets to telling the stories of Christian, Roman-catholic, Jewish and Islamic religious art, that this series could become very compelling viewing and REALLY is a series that is definitely worth checking out.

Television documenting prehistoric art is still an unknown territory in the United Kingdom, but I believe this new documentary series will have a very huge impact in how the public views art in our museums around the country.

You can watch Civilisations every Thursday’s on BBC2 at

If you have the BBCiplayer in your televisions you can see any missed episodes of this series on the iplayer, as well as the iplayer on your personal computers by watching on the iplayer online.

Below, I have included the link to the trailer of this very compelling new BBC2 documentary series.

With holy-week coming up (in about two weeks time) I thought I would leave you all with three  books you may like to purchase and read over holy-week.

There is a direct link on the page where you can purchase these books on, although you may be able to purchase these books at any good retailer of books, including our very own Stoke Newington bookshop on the high street, N16. I am very sure that even if they don’t have the book you want, they will be able to order the book for you.

Happy Buying and Reading.


‘Lent is For Loving’ is written by Sheila Cassidy.

What is the point of Lent?

If prayer and reading and self-denial are worth doing at this time of year, perhaps we should be doing them all year round! Christianity is not a blueprint for repression but for joy; for a life of fulfillment beyond our wildest dreams. Jesus said ‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full’.

In short chapters suitable for individual reading or group study and questions for meditation and reflection. Sheila Cassidy considers the word ‘LENT’ as an acronym for what it really means to live as a Christain today.

L is for Love

E is for EMPATHY

N  is quite simply for NO!

T is for THANK YOU GOD    *book description taken from

The book can be purchased for £5.99 at


‘The Little Book of Lent’ is anthology of spiritual reflections by various religious writers on the reflections of lent.

The Little Book of Lent presents for you an inspirational source of encouragement collected from the world’s greatest spiritual writers.

‘The Little Book of Lent’ is a powerful anthology of readings from spiritual writers for each day of Lent, with accompanying scripture and prayers to help guide daily reflections. With extracts from a range of inspirational writers and theologians, including Desmond Tutu, Sheila Cassidy and Rowan Williams.

‘The Little Book of Lent’ guides you to deepen your prayer life in anticipation of Easter. This book can be read on your own or with others, used either for self-reflection or to spark discussion and share insights on God’s truths. This edition would be perfect on which to base a Lent course or to use as a talking point for home groups.

Whether or not you choose to read the extracts multiple times or once straight through, Howells’ latest work will lead you to new heights in your Christian journey and personal walk with God. It is the ideal gift for friends, family or anyone else preparing themselves for the sacrifices of Lent.         * book information taken from

The book can be purchased for £4.99 at


 In ‘Lenten Lent: A Way to Refresh & Renew Your Spirit,’ Donna Schaper, author of more than 30 books, engages the sometimes gritty, often chaotic and challenging realities of our lives. With great honesty and humanity, openness and hope, she offers readers a way through Lent inspired by the ecological metaphors of renewable and sustainable energy – a truly healing ‘ecology’ for the spirit.  *book description taken from

This book can be purchased for £5 from a retail seller at


Next week’s Sunday morning service will be led by John Stynes.

Church service begins at 10.30 am.

Please bring your friends and families.

You are all very welcome at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Have A Lovely Week Everyone.

Roger Howard.


Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 25th February 2018.

Hello Everybody and a ( Very Belated) Happy New Year to you all.

May all your wishes and dreams for 2018 be what you wished or imagined them to be.

I hope you all had a peaceful week.

We have not had much in the way of church news, certainly not much that would truly have been of interest to our congregation, so I have not been publishing material, so far in this new year. The church news items are coming more forward to our church now so that we can now get back to business as usual.

Apologies to ALL for this long wait in publishing for our church’s news blog.

It is unfortunate that I start this new year on a sad note in our news church blog.

During our church last Sunday (18th February), we had an unexpected turn of events, when my father (church officer) Fitz Howard suffered another small stroke during the service.

Our church service did not start at the start of 10.30 am ( in fact at 10.30am there were only about two members of the church) and two elders in the narthex area.

Leading our church service this morning was Claudette Reid -Titre (from High Cross United Reformed Church -Tottenham -North London). She was in the church setting up her laptop computer, which she was using with a large projector screen that my dad had set up for Claudette to use during the service. When I came into the church to start the process of setting the mood of the service, with myself playing piano, Claudette asked me if I could find my Dad (as he was not in the church at this present time), as she needed to borrow an extension cord lead for the set-up she was using for the service.

So, I went downstairs, for that was where I thought My dad was,  in fact he had popped back home to get something and our pulpit secretary Doris Purkiss called me up to tell me my Father was in the narthex. I came up and told him what Claudette needed for the service. Thinking back now, I must not have taken note of his facial features and any other discrepancies about his health when I was speaking to him. So I just walked over to the piano and started playing the piano.

As my Dad was talking to Claudette, I noticed looking in the mirror (that was placed on the wall, just above the piano) that my father’s neck was bent at an angle and his speech was slightly slurred, not in a way that was audible to make much notice, in fact not in a way that was noticeable at all.

So we eventually started church service a few minutes later than expected, and must have gone through two or three hymns and my father seemed ok, I could certainly hear him singing hymns as usual.

My Father is the person who usually partakes in the offertory collection during the service and when it was time for my father to take the collection, he was unresponsive. His eyes were closed as if he was sleeping. The congregation were calling out ‘Fitz’,  ‘Mr Howard’ and my father gave out a large yawn.

I turned around from where I was at the piano to see what was going on, and I eventually turned backed to the piano, because I was thinking to myself, even if my father was not to take the collection, there would be someone in the congregation to take his place, but nobody did get up to take the collection. All the congregation were moving towards my father and I stopped playing and rushed over and said something like ‘I think my dad has had a stroke’ and a member of the congregation was saying ‘Yes’..,’Yes’.

That was when I rushed home and immediately rang the ambulance. While I was speaking to the assistant on the phone, he was asking me questions about my father, like how he was breathing, his sitting position etc… I had to rush back and forward from home to church to answer their questions, but we eventually communicated through my mobile phone.

While I was speaking on the phone to the assistant, the incredible congregation we have at Manor Road Church, positioned my father in the central aisle of the church, and put my father in a comfortable position and were constantly communicating with him, to get him out of his unconsciousness. When they really TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF GOD WORKING IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS, IT IS IN UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS LIKE THIS; someone who goes through a stroke and the way an individual(s) work quickly to steady and calm a situation, without a QUICK reaction would have probably become more volatile for my Dad.

The ambulance eventually came to the church, asked us questions of what happened, did various tests, put my Father on a stretcher and took him to the ambulance van.

I had to rush home and get some clean clothes for my father and then went with him in the ambulance van to the Homerton Hospital, Hackney E5.

Like the tests they did at the Whitechapel Hospital in January last year, 2017 ( when he had his first mini-stroke), they performed the same kind of tests at Homerton. Luckily his blood levels and heartbeats were normal.

They gave him a special formula aspirin, which he is to take once a day.

I have advised my Dad that he needs to get adequate sleep and not to exert himself too strenuously in the church, especially at his age.

My Mother Hilda, My Dad and I would like to express our deepest thanks and gratitude to Claudette Reid -Titre and members of Manor Road Church congregation who all played their part in coming to the aid of my Father and put him in a real comfortable state until the ambulance people arrived. We are both indebted to you all in more ways than I can even express here in this blog.

Thank You!

This situation that happened with my father in this church, is the first time I can think of in living memory, where we have had to stop a church service (in a way that we can not even continue to the end of the service) because of the unexpected turn of events that have happened  during the church service.


Manor Road church has not had much luck so far this year with people who have important positions in this church.

I mentioned before that towards the end of 2017 last year, our interim moderator Paul Ashitey lost members in his family when his sister and brother-in-law died. He had to travel to Ghana to arrange and take part in their funerals.

Our past secretary Miss Anne Crowe has been having trouble with her feet and legs and has not been able to walk steadily. She has been away from church for a few weeks now.

Our newest church secretary Mr. Kalu Amogu is finding it very hard to speak at the moment after losing his voice. He came back from a holiday with his wife since February 2018, but because of losing his voice has also been away from the church for a few weeks.

We all need to pray for them deeply in our church prayers.


For our own personal church news, we have a few upcoming church events to put in your diaries.

There will be elders meeting next week Sunday 4th March (after church service). Paul Ashitey will be in the chair leading this meeting.

There will be a Bible Study Class this coming Tuesday (27th February) at Manor Road Church from 2pm-4pm.

This year’s ‘Woman’s World Day Of Prayer’ is being held this coming Friday (2nd March) at St Anne’s Home (Lower Manor Road N16) at 2.15 pm.

This coming Saturday (March 3rd) there will be a lunch at Rectory Road United Reformed Church from 12pm-2pm.




Church Service next Sunday morning will be led by Paul Ashitey.

Please bring your friends and families.

You are all very welcome at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Have a Lovely Week everyone and do please wrap up warm next week, as there is a huge possibility of the weather getting very cold and a huge possibility of snow on the way.

Take Care Everyone.

Roger Howard.



Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 10th December 2017

Christmas Greetings to Everyone and All!

I hope you all had a good week, the past week.

We have been away from you all for a very long time (October 15th 2017 to be exact -when we had our last post published) and if I told you all that has happened at Manor Road URC in that long period of time, this post would run into Christmas and continue way into the beginning of the new year, so I will just let you know about these happenings at Manor Road at the beginning of January 2018.

Yesterday (Saturday 9th December) Fitz Howard, Hilda Howard, MYSELF-Roger Howard, Anne Crowe, Amy Barnett, Doris Purkiss and Miss Curtis (From St Mary’s (Church of England Church- Church St N16) met with the Rev.d John Campbell in our worship room, to hold a memorial for Delroy Martin (Manor Road URC’s previous church organist and treasurer) who recently died a few months back. The Revd.John Campbell read a Eulogy to Delroy (the same eulogy that was read at Delroy’s funeral and that was also prepared by his sons Roger and Jeremy Martin). It was a surprise to me, that Delroy was a teacher in his country of Birth, Jamaica.  Also that he was a very keen baker, which I had not known about (because I love baking myself) and most of us could not remember Delroy bringing his baking delights to our Jumble Sales and Christmas Bazaars. It was really good that we could reminiscent of our memories of Delroy as a very kind, loyal and very respected member of our congregation. I know many of us still here at Manor Road URC will still be remembering Delroy Martin in later years with deep appreciation. R.I.P Mr. Delroy Martin.

Well, it certainly was a surprise this morning to look out of my bedroom window and see a blanket of snow on the ground. I can’t remember the last time I saw a blanket of snow in London leading up to Christmas…it must have been more than a decade ago.

Tony Davis from Highcross URC (in Tottenham-North London) was scheduled to lead our service at Manor Road URC this morning, but we received a phone call from The Rev.d John Campbell (Minister of High Cross URC) and later I received a phone call from Tony Davis himself, to tell us that Tony had an accident with his car in the snow (I don’t know if this was serious or not) and so, he had to return back home. John Campbell did tell me some churches would be canceling church services today because of the snow, in which (of course) you can get very low attendances of congregations in church.

Anyway… I rushed up to tell the others (I say others…when in truth there was only my Father -Fitz Howard, Anne Crowe and Doris Purkiss there). We decided to have the service anyway, with using some of Tony Davis’s template of the document for the service this morning. A few more came into the church (a little later) glad to be in the warmth of a church building after going through the hazards of the falling snow.

Anne Crowe was leading the service at the altar this morning, which we thank her for very much. Anne Crowe always seems to be the trooper in our church, saving the day when we have these unexpected experiences of preachers turning up late or (or sometimes)not turning up at all, in leading our service with prayers and hymns. We value her wisdom and encouragement in not being dis-heartened in these kinds of experiences.

Thank You Very Much, Anne.

Manor Road URC also sends out condolences to Tony Davis and his wife, for not being able to join us for our service this morning and hope they returned back home safely.

Just a few (VERY IMPORTANT) notices for our forthcoming Christmas services, starting next week.

Next Sunday at Manor Road URC is our Christmas Festival Service of Lessons and Carols to bring in the Christmas season.

We still need ‘3’ readers for our bible readings (where all readings together tell the Nativity Story of Jesus). For the readers, if you can come a bit earlier to church (before service starts) you can receive your readings for the service.

After the church service, we have refreshments of Tea (or Coffee) and mince pies. We are asking the congregation to bring a packet of mince pies so that with also have enough for the other remaining Christmas services.

This Carol Service starts at 10.30 am and please also bring your Friends and Families. We very much want this service to be a community kind of Christmas service.


The Following Sunday- December 24th- Christmas Eve will also be a (slightly short) service, consisting of carols, poems and bible readings, taken by members of our congregation. This service also begins at 10.30 am.

The Following Day- ‘Christmas Day’ – our church Christmas Day Service will also be at 10.30 am and will be led by Michael Rowe.



Please keep safe while you are driving on the icy and snowy roads.

Keep safe while you are walking on the icy and snowy pavements and just KEEP SAFE! while you are all out there doing your Christmas shopping.

Have a Lovely Week Everyone.

Roger Howard.



Manor Road URC Christmas Day Notice.


Our Church Service on the last day of the year: Sunday 31st December 2017, will be led by Joseph Dankwa.

Church service begins at 10.30 am. Please bring your friends and families.

You are all very welcome at Manor Road URC.

May I take this opportunity on the behalf of Manor Road United Reformed Church, to wish all our friends and families as well as members of this congregation,   A VERY MERRY And PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS.


Roger Howard.


Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 15th October 2017.

Hello Everyone!

Hope you all had a peaceful week, this last week.

Here is the church news for Manor Road United Reformed Church for this week.

There will be a Tea Buffet this coming Wednesday, 18th October at Rectory Road URC at 12.00pm 2.00pm.


  The late great Sandhya Pinn- The lady who for so many years provided manor road church with the United Reformed church (Thames Valley Area) church news and events information.    R.I.P Sandhya Pinn.
Following Sandhya’s death in August we asked David, her husband, whether there was a charity to which donations might be made in memory of Sandhya. Here is part of his response:
Various people have been asking and I I have now set up three “Just Giving” pages. Please find below the links, quite different charities but she was passionate about all of them and I believe she would have approved:-
Mount Vernon Cancer Centre
Book Aid International
Through the Roof project: Wheels for the World 













Important Message from Rev’d Anne Sardeson, Synod Training Officer:
Below is a link to a letter from Rev’d Maggie Hindley about her trip to Palestine
in October. I’ve agreed to be Maggie’s link person here in the UK and my
task is to encourage you to support her in her; you’ll see how you can do
this in the attached letter. If you’d like to know more about what she does
while she is there or about how you could get more involved in work in this
part of the world I am sure she would be happy to talk to you and your
church. Thanks for considering this.”

Next month we are running a further taster session on Appreciative Inquiry at Welwyn Garden City United Reformed Church.
This course is offered as part of two ongoing projects:

  1. Appreciating Church, which is supported ecumenically, see

  2. Developing a Community of AI Practice supported by Appreciating

Participation in this course meets the initial requirements for joining an advanced Developing Your Appreciative
Inquiry Practice residential event after completing six month’s practice of AI.

Full details are in the flyer, with booking instructions.



TLS for this Autumn – a message from Rev’d Francis Ackroyd

Dear Friends
This is to let you know that the Revd Naison Hove at Askew Road, Shepherds Bush and the Revd Dorothee Buurma in the Heath and Havering group of churches are hoping to start  TLS courses in  the Autumn . Please contact me if you know anyone who is interested so that I can pass details on. We hope that each Area Group has the finding  and training of lay people,to support our churches, high on its list of priorities. Also, please let me know if you are aware of any other groups planning to start courses in  the Autumn .  Thank you.


Francis Ackroyd ( Synod TLS organiser )



Next Week’s Sunday morning Service will be led by Dr Paul Ashitey and will be a communion service.

Church Service begins at 10.30 am.

Have a Lovely Week Everyone.

Roger Howard.












Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 8th October 2017.

Hello Everyone.


I hope you all had a peaceful week in this last week.

A full, four months have passed in the time since I last posted on this blog towards the end of May 2017.

This long absence has been for a very good reason.

In the United Reformed Church Synod (In the Thames Lea Valley District, into which Manor Road church belongs) the name of Sandhya Pinn is a very important name, for without this valuable and courageous woman, Manor Road church would not have much of a blog, because of the wealth of church events material that Sandhya was able to send to us.

The last time Sandhya sent me united reformed church events information, must have been in March 2017. After this time, no events information was forth-coming into our church, which meant that we had no events information for our church secretary to read out to our church congregation, as well as not much info for our church news blog.

As editor of this blog, I made a conscious decision to halt the writing of the church blog, because no information would make this blog non-existent, to the realities of the church events that were happening on a weekly and daily basis in the united reformed church, in the Thames Valley Area during the forthcoming weeks and months.

It was only when I rang into church house (United Reformed Church head office) in the summer (June 2017) to inquire about why we had not been receiving church events information from Sandhya Pinn, that I learned of the awful news that Sandhya Pinn was going through the debilitating disease of cancer and that she was (at that particular moment in time ) presently on her chemotherapy treatment. Sue Russell was taking over Sandhya’s role, but even though Manor Road Church was on the list to get information, in the absence of Sandhya’s role, there was still hardly any news events information coming in for manor road church.

It was with very sad regret that in later months, we learned of the passing of Sandhya Pinn, who was not able to cope with the chemotherapy she was going through.

Manor Road United Reformed Church would like to express our dear sympathies to Sandhya Pinn’s family and friends.

She was a very brave and courageous woman, who had to endure the debilitating disease of cancer and its treatment. We praise her for her courageous spirit in enduring a very difficult period of her life.

Manor Road Church thanks, Sandiya Pinn for providing a wealth of church events information for our church for many years. Her enduring incredible spirit will never be forgotten in this church.

R.I.P Sandhya Pinn.

I am happy to announce that after four months without church events information, we now have a new office manager, to take on the role that Sandhya Pinn did so incredibly well.

Her name is Colleen Fraser and she is also the PA to the United Reformed Church moderator and synod clerk.

Colleen Fraser has started a new publication called ‘Thames News Synod Roundup’ which she will be circling around to the churches (hopefully on a weekly basis), so in due course, manor road’s church secretary and myself will be receiving church news events information again.

Hopefully, from next week, we can start the church news blog in the way we are always accustomed to.

Thank you all for your patience in this difficult period of time in restructuring, in the aftermath of the passing of sandhya pinn.


There is only one forth-coming event in the church this coming Saturday.

Our Coffee Morning will be in the church hall (downstairs from 10am to (Noon).

So, in the time that we have not been publishing the blog, you may be wondering what situations have been going on in our church.

Well… I finally took up the courage to become an elder in the church.

Dr Paul Ashitey (Our Interim Moderator) inducted me into eldership on Sunday 17th September 2017.

For many years, people at Manor Road Church have always been urging me to become a church elder and I have always said no to that endeavour. Coming from a younger generation, I always felt I could be doing more in the church that not only involved church duties but also local community duties as well. Also with my dream and passion of wanting to be a musician and a music journalist, I thought that being an elder would take me away from my dreams and passions. I was just being hard on myself because I want to do the role of eldership very well. Apart from giving my commitment to God and the church, the role has enabled me to sit-in on elder meetings and be part of the decisions of management in the church. I would like to think that from someone from a younger perspective, my views will help in the future stability of Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Anne Crowe has been our church secretary for over 20 years now. At the age of 90, Anne decided to give up her role as Manor Road’s Church Secretary. She will still be helping out in lighter duties in the church.

Manor Road Church now has a NEW church secretary. This time he is a man.

His name is Mr Kalu Amogu. With a wealth of knowledge, (he was a secretary at the Woodberry Down Tenants Association), the church has a lot of confidence that Kalu will do his very best, for the benefit of Manor Road United Reformed Church.

A few weeks back, my family received some sad news on the passing of my father’s younger brother, Dan Howard. My Father (Fitz Howard) is Manor Road’s church officer. His brother, Dan died in Barbados from the effects of pneumonia.  While a service was being held in Barbados, a service was also being held at St Chads Church in Hoxton-London. Both my Father and I took part in the service. My Dad and I read bible readings in the service.  From the Brother and Sisters my Father had, my Dad is now the only sibling left on his side of the family.

I would like to end this blog today with some more unfortunate sad news.

A fortnight ago the church received some sad news that Delroy Martin, our previous church organist and treasurer had passed away.

Delroy was the church organist and treasurer in our present united reformed church for many years, as well as being the treasurer of the old Presbyterian church.

I would like to here pay an acknowledgment to Delroy’s enduring spirit, in his hard dedication to the stability of Manor Road United Reformed Church for many years.

As Manor Road’s present-day church organist/pianist, I know from the first-hand experience of the dedication of service Delroy Marin gave to this church for many years.

I pay enormous gratitude to Delroy Martin in having the faith in me, and truly being a mentor for me in taking up the role as a church musician (Organist), a role he had for many years.

Looking back now in the long period that I have now been playing at Manor Road United Reformed Church, this has only seriously happened because of incredible people like Delroy Martin, someone who is able to recognize young talent in church and nurture it.

I started going to church at a very young age, was always encouraged to go to church. When your Father is the church officer and he is from the Caribbean, there is not much escape from the church. I learned from an early age, that the role of organist/pianist is something that has to start from a young age. You have to understand the different kinds of hymns there are and the way a congregation sings them before you can even think about contemplating playing church hymns.  Many Church hymns, unlike other forms of printed music, don’t come with time signatures (especially very old hymns) so a musician is guided solely by the way a congregation sings and the familiarity of the tempo of hymns the way they are sung through the periods of historical time. I noticed from a young age that Delroy always used the pedals on the organ and I used to have fun looking at the coordination of how his fingers and feet were always working together. One set of body parts moving in a completely different synchronicity with the other. This was one reason that when I took to playing the church organ, I never took to using the pedals. I found it increasingly difficult, but Delroy Martin had learned this technique very well. He had more difficulty though with the modern hymns being played on the organ because they had more complicated syncopated rhythms.

Thank You, Delroy, for Believing and trusting in me to do the role that you had done at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

I hope I have been (and still can be) as loyal a musician in this church as you were.

I hope I am doing my best in this church to make you proud.

Thank you, Sir, I will never forget you.

Roger Howard.

Manor Road United Reformed Chuch organist/pianist.

Manor Road United Reformed Church would like to offer our deepest sincere sympathies to Delroy Martin’s Family and Friends, on the passing of an incredible man.

Also, our Love and prayers are sent to Mary Martin (Delroy’s Wife – who was also a past member of Manor Road United Reform Church), who is presently in a nursing home, suffering from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.

R.I.P Mr Delroy Martin.

 Delroy Martin Manor Road United Reformed Church’s (previous) Church Organist and Treasurer.

For the people who knew Delroy Martin (there are only a very few people in the church now who actually knew Delroy) we are seeking a way of attending his funeral.

His funeral is being held in Nottingham (where he was living) on Monday 16th October 2017.

We are hoping to see if (very quickly) we can hire a mini-van to take us to Nottingham where the service is being held.

For old members of this congregation the 2 hours plus journey by train maybe a bit difficult for them. If we are not able to attend, our spirits will be in that funeral service.

I have asked members who knew Delroy (if they cannot attend) to send me their memories of Delroy that maybe can be shared on the day of Delroy’s funeral.

Friends of Delroy can send me their memories of Delroy by going to the contact or about us page (clicking on the banners and contacting me on the link.

Thanks to Jeremy Martin (Delroy’s Son) for providing us of the lovely photograph of Delroy taken at home in his garden.

The service here next Sunday morning will be led by Claudette Reid-Titre.

Church service begins at 10.30 am.

Please bring your friends and families.

You are all very welcome at Manor Road Church.

Have Nice and Peaceful Week Everyone.

Roger Howard.









Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 28th May 2017.

Hello, Everyone!

Normally I would be saying that I hope you all had a good week last week, but in light of the devastating news of the evil terrorist attack in Manchester, it is pretty obvious that this last week has NOT been good for the majority of people in this country who truly condemn evilness of this kind of atrocity that  killed so much young innocent lives, as well as adult lives.

How do we as Christians makes sense of this type of evil crime that killed and maimed (in particular) so much young innocent lives, of a joyful music event that generally is there to give pleasure to young people’s lives with their friends and families, to an event that is changed to total chaos and total destruction of innocent lives?

I don’t see how any Bible quote can make sense of this kind of evil reality when young children’s lives are involved in a situation like this.

Lets us as Christians make sense of this reality that we are all children of God (whatever religious faith denomination we belong to). Let us also make sense of this type of evil reality, that (hopefully in our lives) we were all formed by love and nurtured into a world of love and let us make sense of this evil reality that children of God who are purely innocent in the eyes of God and who are destroyed in the vision of God, will be sent back to the God of Love, where justice and innocence will prevail in Heaven, Forever.

For Good and Evil are not the same, they are opposites, and Goodness (God’s Goodness) will ALWAYS be above Evilness that is prevalent in our modern world.

Lets us all walk with the God of Goodness and innocence and lets us all walk with the God of faithfulness in making the right decisions in our lives, for people who wish to persecute us in our lives by the doctrine of hate.

Please remember these young innocent lives and other adult victims of this attack in Manchester in your church prayers, as well as in your prayers individually at home.


Here is the church news for Manor Road URC for this week.

This coming Saturday 3rd June, there will be a church lunch at Rectory Road United Reformed Church from 12.00 pm (Noon) to 2.00pm.

This coming Sunday (June 4th) there will be a church meeting straight after church service. This will be followed by a church lunch. I hope many of you will stay for our church meeting as well as our church lunch.




Next Sunday morning’s service will be led by Paul Ashitey.

Service begins at 10.30 am.

Please bring your friends and families to this service.

You are all very welcome at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

In all that’s been happening in Manchester, I hope you all have a good and peaceful week.

God Bless You All.

Roger Howard.


Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 30th April 2017

Hello Everyone!

Hope you all had a nice week.

Here is the church news from Manor Road United Reformed Church for this week.

Saturday 6th May, there will be a church lunch at Rectory Road United Reformed Church from 12.00pm.

Saturday 13th May, there will be our monthly Coffee Morning in our church hall (Downstairs) from – 12.00pm (Noon). Do please attend with any issues you have in your lives,  that you wish to discuss with our church elders.


Christain Aid Week is from 14th-20th May, so next week Sunday, everyone in the congregation will get a Christian aid envelope to return back to the church. These envelopes can be returned the following week or at a time more convenient to your own time schedule, but hopefully in by the end of the month of May 2017.



Next week’s Sunday morning service will be led by Claudette Reid -Titre from Highcross United Reformed Church -Tottenham, North London.

Church service begins at 10.30 am.

Please also bring your friends and families to this service.

You are ALL VERY WELCOME! at Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Have a lovely week everyone!

P.S. Don’t think too much about the forthcoming general election… or Brexit!

Roger Howard.





Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 9th April 2017.

Hello Everyone!

Happy Palm Sunday (Not Long Now Till The Big Day).

Here is the church news for Manor Road URC for this week.

There will be a Maundy Service (this coming Thursday- 13th April) at Harecourt United Reformed Church/Islington URC at 3.00pm. There will be no meal after this service.

The Good Friday Service will be at Manor Road URC in the church, this coming Friday 14th April at 10.30 am.

This Good Friday Service will be led by Evodian Fonyonga who is from High Cross URC in Tottenham/North London.

There will be refreshments after the service of hot cross buns and tea/coffee. For these refreshments, the congregation has been asked to bring some hot cross buns with you on the day. 3 hot cross buns per family should be efficient enough for all of us to receive at least 1 or 2 hot cross buns each.

Dear Friends,


Some April and May dates for your diaries. Posters are attached if you are able to post one in your parish or another suitable venue.


Mindfulness in the Christian Tradition—for those who find Saturdays difficult, Father Malachy Keegan returns onWednesday, 26 April for his introduction to Mindfulness. What is it? How does Christian mindfulness differ from secular or Buddhist mindfulness? How does it relate to our Catholic Faith and one’s prayer life? 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. Suggested donation £14. Please bring a packed lunch; teas and coffees are provided (available from 9.30 am).


The Daily Call to Truth—in a world where we seem to be surrounded by ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, we might echo Pilate’s question: what is truth? Jesus gives us a definitive answer: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” A morning reflection with Sister Regina McGarry OP and Sister Teresa O’Donovan OP. Wednesday, 10 May from 10.00 am – 12.30 pm. Teas and coffees provided. Suggested donation £6


Christian Mindfulness II – Putting it into Practice—also for those who are available weekdays. Fr Michael Heap M.Afr. will explore mindfulness in practise with time for personal reflection. Wednesday, 24 May from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. Suggested donation £14. Please bring a packed lunch; teas and coffees are provided (available from 9.30 am).


Sister  Karen Marguerite d’Artois OP
Niland Conference Centre, Rosary Priory
93 Elstree Road, Bushey Heath, Herts. WD23 4EE
Tel. 020 8950 4000
Registered Charity 233236


From Revd Viv  Randles, Synod Silence and Retreats Link Person


Dear Friends
Spring is here, the clocks have changed, and Easter is fast approaching. Make the most of this awakening energy and come along to learn, share and grow with others.  We have some beautiful events planned for the coming months.

To book your place please phone 020 8449 6648 or email

John Main, Desert Father and Celtic monk

Kim Nataraja

8th April 2017, 10 am to 4.oo pm

One of the greatest challenges that Christianity faces today is the practical rediscovery of its age-old tradition of prayer and contemplation, and one of the main attempts to do this in recent times was begun by the Benedictine monk and priest John Main. John Main’s teaching does not take theology and belief  as its starting point but focuses instead on personal experience in prayer and the way this leads to self-knowledge of the whole of our being. He rediscovered a way of prayer with one phrase in the writing of John Cassian, who based his teaching on the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Moreover, John Main’s family used to live in Ballinskelligs on the western tip of Kerry, which a view of Skellig Michael, an ancient Celtic monastic site. The striking similarities between both groups of monks are aspects we will explore during this Retreat day. In doing so we will also explore the essence of John Main’s guidance on meditation.

Kim Nataraja loves sharing with others the teaching of our tradition and exploring those inspiring figures from Christian Spirituality, who guide us in the contemplative life. In 2003 she organised and led with her husband Shankar the first ‘The Roots of Christian Mysticism Course’ at the London Christian Meditation Centre, exploring the contemplative experience in Christianity from Scripture to the present Day. Her book on this course, ‘Journey to the Heart’ has been published the UK, US and Canada.

Quiet day exploring Holiness and Justice

Revd Alan Combes

13th May 2017,  10 am to 4.00 pm

What is Holiness? I wonder how would you define holiness, what do people mean when they say a place or a person is Holy? John Wesley spoke boldly when he claimed that ‘there is no holiness but social holiness.’  As such he calls us to reflect deeply on holiness as going beyond the individual, seeing it as an expression of Christ’s Kingdom values come on earth as in heaven.  So come as you are and take time to re-evaluate the relationship between Holiness and Justice.

Alan Combes is a Methodist Minister. He trained ecumenically on an Anglican/ Methodist programme at Wesley House in Cambridge and before his call worked for twenty-five years as an engineer and teacher.

Multi-faith pilgrimage for Peace

Saturday 20th May 2017, 12 noon to 2.00 pm

Organised by The Diocese of Westminster Interfaith, who seek to promote greater understanding, co-operation and respect between Christians and people of other faiths and thus combat discrimination at all levels. It also helps Catholics deepen their own faith by promoting greater awareness of other faiths through dialogue, prayer and action. Come to meet, pray and eat with the Pilgrims as they pass through Cockfosters.  Members of the Sikh community will prepare a delicious lunch in the hall.

Awareness as to where you are

Mary Jo Radcliffe

17th June 2017, 10 am to 4.00 pm

Mary Jo is a regular contributor to our programme and we are deeply grateful that she can join us again in 2017. A day with her is always a beautiful experience, framed by her wisdom and compassion that allows deep reflection and insight. Not to be missed.

Believing in butterflies: a journey of transformation

Margaret Silf

1st July 2017,  10 am to 4.00 pm

The human journey is potentially a journey of transformation, and the caterpillar can help us see how this might be happening. The caterpillar can have no idea of the butterfly it is becoming, or of the hazards that lie along the way. What about us and where are we now? Are we complacent caterpillars, thoughtlessly consuming the world around us? Or are we struggling in the dark and messy meltdown of the chrysalis? Are we drifting through life in the belief that nothing much will ever change? During this day of reflection we will explore the great metamorphosis of spiritual evolution in which we are actually engaged, and how we can help to birth our inner butterfly and become co-creators of a different kind of future for humanity.

Margaret is the author of a number of books for 21st century spiritual pilgrims and describes herself as a spiritual explorer. She works ecumenically, across and beyond traditional denominational divisions, and is passionate about making Christian spirituality accessible through the events and experiences of everyday life. She is a mother and grandmother and lives in Staffordshire.

To book your place on any of these events please leave a voicemail message on 020 8449 6648 or email

We are staffed by part-time volunteers, so leave a voicemail message if no-one is available to take your call.  Please see our website  for more information and to find a map.  We are located at the Church of Christ the King (Vita et Pax), which is a short walk from Oakwood station on the Picadilly line.

We invite a contribution of £25 for day events and £10 for evening events to cover the cost of bringing speakers to Cockfosters and to support the Centre’s upkeep. We do not wish cost to be a barrier to anyone attending, so please feel free to offer whatever you can afford.

Thank you and God bless.

CCS Programme Committee.





The Easter Sunday Service (16th April) at Manor Road United Reformed Church will be led by Emmanuel Osae.

Please bring your friends and families for this very special day in the Christian calendar.

The church service begins at 10.30am.

Have a nice and peaceful week everyone.

Roger Howard.



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