‘One Vision’ has given greater visibility to Stanborough Park Adventist church.
When a ball starts rolling, it can sometimes end up somewhere unexpected. That was the case for Enoch Kanageraj, a member of Stanborough Park Church in Watford, England, when he set up the Community Chaplaincy Service at his local church.
Kanageraj’s aim of raising the church’s profile in the community and establishing and meeting local needs not only got off to a good start but also led to unexpected developments when he was appointed to Watford Football Club’s External Advisory Group. He then received a prestigious annual award from Watford Borough Council for his involvement with the community.
As a first attempt to engage with the wider community, Kanageraj inaugurated an Annual Christmas Picture Competition. Local schoolchildren were encouraged to submit their artwork on a Christmas theme. The competition proved to be popular with all sections of the community, Christian or otherwise, and celebrated its fifth prize-giving in 2018.
Bringing the Community In
In 2018, Kanageraj was encouraged by then Stanborough church pastor Jacques Venter to go a step further and bring local community groups into the church to explain how they operate and to seek support. This led to holding Community Days with representatives from various organizations, including local women’s groups, charities for the homeless, The Red Box Project, and the local police. The day was a mixture of presentations and displays.
Around the same time, the Co-op Food supermarket where Kanageraj works became part of the company’s Foodshare scheme, in which food past its “sell by” date is collected by local charities to feed those in need. One local recipient of the food collections was Annette Kelly, who was running the GoKula cafe in central Watford on a pay-as-much-as-you-can-afford basis, with free food for the homeless on Mondays. Through Kelly, Kanageraj met others who help the homeless.