Southend Christian Fellowship’s Leadership team carries responsibility for the vision and strategic development of the life and ministry of the church. There are five members of the team, each carrying responsibility for specific aspects of our church family life.
Mark Churchward – Mark originally trained to be a teacher of Religious Studies, working for four years at a comprehensive school on Canvey Island, and a further 20 years at a local Sixth Form College in Benfleet.
He is married to Anita and together they have been involved in the life of the Fellowship since 1982. Mark started working for the church in 1997.
As well as his responsibilities in the Fellowship, Mark is very committed to working with other church leaders for the benefit of the town and region, the strengthening of relationships and unity between churches, and the extending of God’s kingdom across the area. His involvement in Anglican and Baptist congregations and the Salvation Army until he joined SCF has given him great respect and love for the many expressions of the Body of Christ, and a strong desire to see Jesus’ prayer for the unity of the church become a reality.
He travels abroad regularly with others, supporting the Fellowship’s work of serving churches in Uganda, India and Russia.
He thinks food is one of God’s best ideas; prefers to cycle to work; and likes documentaries and whodunits. He gets into the garden whenever time allows or the weeds demand it!
Anita Churchward – Following her French and Politics degree at Bristol and a Post Grad secretarial qualification Anita worked as a PA, then in Fostering and Adoption in the early years of her marriage to Mark. Following the arrival of 3 lively children her time was devoted to keeping everyone fed, watered and in the right place at the right time!
Her return to employment was initially as a teacher within Adult Education. Now she works currently full-time for SCF with areas of responsibility in pastoral ministry and the development of our Healing of the Heart ministry. Alongside Mark she spends time supporting and encouraging leadership couples from other churches.
Anita likes to read and watch films when time allows, with gardening becoming a joint interest with Mark in the last few years. The arrival of a first grandchild is proving to be a wonderful new season in family life!
Peter Burgess works full time for Southend Christian Fellowship. He worked in the world of Insurance until he was released into full time ministry here at SCF in November 2012 and he has been a member of the Leadership Team at SCF since October 2011. Peter has a passion for seeing the Kingdom of God coming here on earth and pursuing the supernatural in every area of life. His dream is for the Church to rise as passionate lovers of God and each other and spends time envisioning and equipping the Church to do this. He loves to travel the world working with other church leaders and believers, particularly in Uganda and East Africa.
Peter and Chrissy have three young children and spend their time enjoying this season of life together as family. If he has any spare time he enjoys a spot of golf, many hours of cricket or observing any other sport especially if it involves a ball!
Chrissy Burgess also works full-time for SCF since leaving her former world of Physiotherapy in the NHS. She was invited to join the Leadership Team in April 2015 and has particular responsibilities for PowerZone-our Children’s Ministry, the Ladies Ministry of the Church, Safeguarding and administration for the Leadership Team. At a Children’s Leaders Conference a few years ago Chrissy was inspired to help children encounter God for themselves and see them ‘Set on Fire for Jesus, and be drunk on Holy Spirit’, and this has become a real passion for all that she does since. Together with Peter, she has a massive heart for overseas missions- particularly East Africa where she has been visiting regularly since she was 17, however she doesn’t get there quite as often as she would like in this season of life!
Peter and Chrissy together have oversight for pastoral care across the Church and lead the Congregational Leadership Team.
Colin Cooper and his wife Mary were part of the small group who came together to found Southend Christian Fellowship over 35 years ago, and Colin was part of the early leadership. They moved away from the area in 1987 but some years ago knew God was calling them to return. Having moved back in 2012, Colin was invited to re-join the oversight team and they are enjoying being back in the life of the church.
Colin carries a passion to see God’s Kingdom extended on earth. He enjoys teaching to inspire and equip people to become all that they are created to be. He longs to see more of the presence of God breaking into people’s lives and loves worship that releases the activity of God amongst his people.
Colin works part time in London as a Costs Lawyer. He and Mary have five grown up children and nine fantastic grandchildren. He also likes finishing DIY projects, coffee shops (Mary takes the blame for that!) and Italy.
The Leadership team draws on the counsel, advice and experience of two senior church leaders, one from the UK and another from India, who have agreed to be a sounding board and reference point for the leadership and the church. This provides a vital and valued oversight and accountability rooted in open, honest and vulnerable relationships.