Cake-cutting concludes Church of St Margaret of Antioch’s centenary celebrations

Father Steven Pugh, the Bishop of Chelmsford, one of the youngest members of the church Grace Haler,

Father Steven Pugh, the Bishop of Chelmsford, one of the youngest members of the church Grace Haler, seven and one of the oldest Winifred Thehaston, 95, at St Margaret's Church in Ilford which held a Centenery service - Credit: Archant

It was smiles all round as the Bishop of Chelmsford cut the centenary cake to round off the year-long celebrations at the Church of St Margaret of Antioch.

The Balfour Road church, in Ilford, has been in vibrant mood this year with several events organised including a photography exhibition, a centenary service and the publication of a book documenting the parish’s history.

On Sunday a number of special guests attended the centenary service, including Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South, the Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell and Cllr Mrs Linda Huggett, Redbridge’s deputy mayor.

Father Stephen Pugh, who has worked hard throughout the year to mark the landmark occasion, said it was “one of the proudest moments” of his tenure as vicar.

He said: “The service was a really joyful and happy occasion - it was a full house.

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“It was the main event of the centenary and the climax of the year of celebrations.

“There is an element of sadness it is all over because it has been a great year.”

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Three cakes, with figures showing 100, were provided along with champagne to toast the church’s success.

“I think the cake was finished, people kept coming back for more,” added Mr Pugh.

“It has been good to see faces from the past coming back as well as members of the congregation.”

Bishop Cottrell praised the organisers’ efforts.

He said: “St Margaret’s in Ilford shares a birthday with the Diocese of Chelmsford so it was great to join them for their very joyful centenary celebrations.

“The church was full, the worship moving and beautiful, the people welcoming and ready for the next 100 years of service.”

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