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New Barkingside vicar looking forward to challenge ahead

Rev Chris Burrows who took over at St Laurence last month. Credit: Chris Burrows Rev Chris Burrows who took over at St Laurence last month. Credit: Chris Burrows

Sunday, July 13, 2014
9:00 AM

The new vicar of a Barkingside church is looking forward to making an impact in his new position within the community, even though he still finds it hard being a Christian.

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Rev Chris Burrows, 39, took on the role at St Laurence in Donington Avenue, where the church has been searching for a successor to Rev Ernie Guest since September last year.

Rev Burrows was ordained three years ago but admitted he still struggles leading “a faith life”, but is looking forward to challenges ahead for both himself and church.

He said: “I have not found faith life easy - I have found it hard being a Christian.

“In my sermons I have been explaining different aspects of my life, sharing parts of my life - how I became a Christian, how I dropped out of university because I was living the “high life” and how I did not see any particular need for God and was not going anywhere with my life.”

Rev Burrows added it is a common misconception amongst congregations the vicar is one who is able to withstand the pressures of being a committed Christian the best.

After dropping out of university, Rev Burrows said he “refound” the faith he had lost as a child growing up in a Christian family.

After transferring to work for the treasury, he joined the Alpha course at the Holy Trinity in Brompton, west London - where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is known to have been a former congregation member.

Speaking about the future for St Laurence, Rev Burrows said: “The challenge for us, as a church, is how to make our presence felt.”

“I think most people may not know that St Laurence Church exists - we are tucked away on a side street. The hardest thing for us is how to get the word out.”

Rev Burrows, a former civil servant, born in Haggerston, east London, said he has spent much of his time so far getting to know the St Laurence congregation.

“Churches always go quiet over the summer, but in September that is when the church starts off again,” he said.

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