New minister welcomed in Leytonstone
Leytonstone United Free Church will hold a commissioning service for its new minister, Gemma Dunning, this weekend
The service on Saturday afternoon (2.30pm, 20 August) will confirm Gemma in her new position and will be followed by a barbeque and quiz night. This service and social event will be an opportunity for Gemma to meet her new church family, local councillors, the heads of other local churches and members of the community.
Gemma has moved from Westcliff Baptist Chapel in Bournemouth where she has been Children, Youth and Families Pastor. Originally a West Cliff church member, Gemma left for Bible college in 2006 and returned to serve the church in this new role in February 2013.
She became involved in many local church initiatives including supporting children at St Michael's Primary School and running a holiday lunch programme during school holidays for children who claim free school meals. She was also involved in community outreach work with minority and marginalised sections of the community - organising events such as a Transgender Day of Remembrance and a World Aids Day vigil.
Gemma admits this a big adventure for her but she is supported by family, in her commitment to the Christian life of Leytonstone United Free Church and her mission of pastoral care. 'We are excited meet our new neighbours and join in with the local community,' she said.
Her new church family is delighted to welcome her and looks forward to working with her and supporting her in her ministerial role. In her spare time Gemma bakes cakes, enjoys a good cup of tea and loves anything creative. A senior member of the church described how happy the membership are to welcome her appointment, adding that 'her skills as a baker of superior cupcakes are an unexpected bonus.'