About

The beginning of an adventure

In 2016 four leadership couples, who were already well known to each other, began to meet with a common sense of excitement that God was creating an opportunity for the beginning of an adventure, to see the fulfilment of a prophetic word delivered by Carls Wills some years before – ‘I am going to transform the reputation by which Essex is known’.

Foundations

And so the foundations of ‘Transforming Essex’ were laid – Christians throughout Essex coming together committed to creating relationships of respect, honour and love among themselves and the wider community to partner with God’s heart to see every part of Essex transformed by the genius of his creative Word and love. A family of lovers of Jesus committed to seeing Jesus’ kingdom coming in fuller and fuller measure across Essex.

Family

This family values the contribution every Christian in Essex can play in bringing godly transformation to every aspect of their life, including church leaders, intercessors, and ‘kingdom influencers’ (Christians God has placed in the community committed to seeing their sphere of influence impacted by the values and ways of Jesus’ kingdom).

Journey

We have never journeyed this way before and are so grateful for the encouragement of others who have come alongside to support and advise, particularly Paul Manwaring whose insights into revival and strategic thinking have been so valuable in shaping a framework for TE.

Churches and Christians from different denominations and streams are engaging with TE, participating in ‘Round Tables’, attending regular gatherings and praying.

The core team

Transforming Essex is led by a core team who share responsibility for nurturing, encouraging and developing the vision and values:

Mark Churchward

Southend Christian Fellowship

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Mark Churchward

Mark served on the Leadership Team of Southend Christian Fellowship in a full-time capacity for 23 years and is now part of the Fellowship’s oversight team. He carries a passion for unity among Christians and church leaders, and the extension of the values of God’s heart and His wholesome and supernatural ways into every sphere of society. He enjoys time with his grown up children and young grandchildren enormously and pottering in the garden is his idea of therapy! The ‘unread’ list of his books is longer than the ‘read’ list, but he’s working on it, slowly!

Anita Churchward

Southend Christian Fellowship

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Anita Churchward

Anita is Mum to three grown up children and Grandma to five young grandchildren with whom she loves spending time. She served on the Leadership Team of Southend Christian Fellowship for many years and is now part of the Fellowship’s oversight team.  She carries a passion for people’s wholeness and well-being spiritually and emotionally and values heart-felt connection and communication. Married for 40 years she is well versed in patience, endurance and situation humour! She enjoys a good read, theatre, movement and dance, and an age-related growing love for the garden!

Simon Ford

Community Church Rochford

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Simon Ford

Simon is married to Lisa and is the team leader at Community Church Rochford. He has a passion for building communities which are full of life from which people can grow into their true identity and calling in God.

Simon enjoys being creative including communicating the gospel creatively, creating music, and making things out of wood. Simon has recently joined the Transforming Essex Core Team which adds a creative element to the team.

Rob Purnell

New Life Church, Wickford

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Rob Purnell

Rob is a member of New Life Church Crouch Valley, serving on their senior leadership team. Rob’s life purpose is to encourage people to be world changers and to help them discover their God ordained purpose in life.

In his spare time Rob loves gardening, learning more about history, watching Harlequins Rugby Club and West Ham United Football Club. He also loves all things Essex and is proud to be known as an Essex man.

Lissie Purnell

New Life Church, Wickford

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Lissie Purnell

Lissie is a member of the leadership team at New Life Church Crouch Valley in Essex.

She has been married to Rob for 38 years they have two married daughters and four beautiful grandchildren.
Lissie’s passion is see people being set free to be all that God intended them to be and to see the county of Essex transformed into all that God intended it to be too.

Pete Bardwell

Oasis Church, Chelmsford

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Pete Bardwell

As a small child Pete remembers being impacted by a simple theme of the Christian message; friendship with Jesus is possible and changes everything for the better! Nearly 40 years later, Pete is still fascinated by this truth and loves to share it with others.

Married to Leo, they helped to establish Transforming Essex. Pete and Leo have three teenage children and lead the team at Oasis Church Chelmsford.

Pete loves to be creative; he particularly enjoys construction and furniture making, dog walks in the Essex countryside, motorbikes, music, whiskey and chocolate.

Peter Burgess

Southend Christian Fellowship

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Peter and Chrissy

Peter is married to Chrissy and they have three children, Isaac, Elizabeth and Samuel. Peter has been part of the leadership team of Southend Christian Fellowship since 2011,  having previously worked in the insurance industry.

He has a passion for seeing people grow into all they have been created to be through encountering the love and power of Jesus and for seeing the Church and His Kingdom being built here on Earth.  He loves to disciple others and help to release those around Him step into all that they are called to be. He also loves to play golf and cricket- neither of which he finds as much time for as he would like at the moment!

Chrissy Burgess

Southend Christian Fellowship

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Chrissy Burgess

Chrissy is married to Peter and they have three fantastic children. Chrissy is part of the Leadership Team at SCF and although she is a physiotherapist by trade she has worked for SCF since 2014, and is enjoying the journey of balancing family and Church life.

She has a desire to see people encounter God, experience His presence and to see people released to be all that God has created them to be.  She has a particular heart for worship and a desire to see Heaven released on Earth—in Southend, Essex and beyond, into the nations of the world!