The St. Margaret’s Church Centre is a purpose-built extension to the Church which opened in 1991 and was subsequently commissioned by the then Archbishop of Canterbury.The Centre is very much the hive of industry, housing many fractions during the week. Monday's the centre is closed but on occasions meetings are held.
It houses the Parish Office, Rector’s Office, a Committee Room (St Paul’s Room), a large meeting room (Civic Room) which can be divided into two good size meeting rooms, The Refectory (Lantern Room), a fully fitted commercial kitchen and a secure garden area.
Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday the tea rooms are open to the general public and this is very much the for front and hub of our community work serving home made cakes,dinners and snacks, from 11am till 2pm.
Tuesday morning from 8 to 9pm we hold a breakfast club for the homeless which has links to The Source and Food Bank. This and the above are run by volunteers. Groups that meet in the centre are Weight Watchers on Tuesday and Wednesday , these are large groups of mixed race that in turn also have the occasional snack in the centre.
Wednesday there is a Eucharist at 12.30 till 1.15. 12 to 3pm we facilitate a Mental Health group who support each other, have quizzes, crafts, music appreciation, bingo and general chat. This group is very important to their well being and the centre offers them a safe environment with support from the church and some have now become volunteers in the centre.
Wednesday evening the Rotary meet for a 3 course meal and discuss fund raising events for the local people of Barking and Dagenham. The Rotary is a world wide organisation that tries to raise awareness of how we can assist and aid people in their plight. Thursday from 11 am to 1pm a very vibrant and large group of Asian ladies meet called BME, they are mixed religions, Who have guest speakers events and the occasional lunch in the centre. To welcome other religions into our church shows that we are very diverse.
Thursday evening we have Brownies, this a very large vibrant group of young people as this is the only group in Barking so it is important to keep this going with all the different activities they do.
Thursday afternoon there is a prayer group that meets and has had guest speakers, these are usually young mums that meet before picking up their children from school, but all are welcome to join.
Friday the Centre is closed but a Eucharist is said at 10am. Saturday morning there is a School for extra curricular, maths and English for Eastern European children. There are other activities that go on in the Centre, that are part of our community work, Community police hold an Abbey Ward surgery once a month, for advice, assistance and concerns. Care Mark also attend every week to give assistance to anybody that needs care or assistance at home and have been able to help Tea Room customers and some of our congregation. This has been a very fruitful experience.
Members of the congregation regularly have family events ranging from birthday parties to receptions.
Hosting a Jazz event with a band in the center
The the helpful hands of the Centre volunteers is an added blessing offering excellent catering services
Upstairs there are large storage areas and a two bedroom flat currently occupied by the organist and his wife.
A tour group visiting the tower.
Various schools in the local area, visitors from abroad and local events are given tours and general history of our grade one listed church, with some of it's beautiful stained glass windows and artifacts. There is so much that goes on in the Centre, with various meetings, visiting groups,parties, church events, Brownies even a Chess Club meet nearly every week.
Cynthia is one of our center volunteers
The Centre brings people together regardless of race, creed, colour, lifestyle orientation, physical or mental disability. We are The Hub