We are an evangelical church for Tamil-speaking people, mainly in east London. Our first meetings were held in Forest Gate, in July 1982, and we were then under the umbrella of In Contact Ministries headed by Patrick and Rosemary Sookhdeo, who now lead the Barnabas Fund. We moved to Manor Park in 1984, and have started branches in Ilford, Newbury Park, Walthamstow, and East Barnet. We helped to start Tamil churches in Southall and Lewisham, which are fully independent. We have close links of fellowship, but not formal ties, with Emmanuel Christian Fellowship in Glasgow.
At first the church was small. After the July 83 riots in Colombo, Sri Lanka more and more people started coming to London and coming to church. Doctors, engineers, and accountants who were already settled here; students and refugees from Jaffna and Batticaloa; Tamils and Telegus from India; the congregation was a mixture, which is healthy. From the beginning until now, people from different denominations, including a steady trickle of friends from Hindu background, have joined the church.
During our first year of existence, pastor Ebenezer was supported by Christian Nationals Evangelism Commission. Other expenses were met by the giving off the congregation. Turnover the first year was nearly £800. By God’s grace, and by the help of sr Rani Sigamani, sr Indu Naidu, and the current team of church workers, some paid, some voluntary, and by the witness of lives and words of the whole church, we have grown. At the last Watch night services, the total number of worshippers was 1,000; an average Sunday sees more than half of that.
Since 1984, we have met, by kind permission, at Manor Park Christian Centre. The meeting in Ilford started on 6th January 2002, in Newbury Park started on October 2004 and in Walthamstow started on Easter Day 2005.
We aim to keep growing in Christ, caring for people, and sharing the truth of the gospel. With God’s help, the next two decades will be even better than the first three.