Getting to Know Your Parish
A Town-Centre Church
There is a town-centre feel about our parish, with several small shops, fast food outlets, a police station, three secondary schools and a primary school. There are also GP surgeries and NHS clinics. The parish is heavily residential with houses rather than flats. We also have two nursing homes for the elderly with which the Church has links.
Geographically, the parish is very close to Stratford the venue of the Olympics and where a very big shopping centre (Westfield) has recently been built. As an inner city parish, the actual geographical area covered by the parish is small.
Other faith centres
Within the area, there are many churches of other denominations with which we have links. These include a Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, and several Independent churches (usually of African or Asian background). The parish also has within it many mosques and Sikh Gurdwaras with whom we have inter-faith collaboration.
In terms of demography, the population of the parish is 21,700. It is estimated that over 50% of the people living in our parish are Muslim and about 22% are Christians. Although figures are not available, Asians are clearly in the majority in the parish – perhaps as much as 60%. The remainder of the population is made up of African/Caribbean or white Europeans. Figures from the Church Urban Funds shows that it is in the top 1% of the most ethnically diverse parishes in the country.
Emmanuel parish is high on deprivation indices, such as crime, poverty and living environment. We also have such social problems as homelessness and prostitution.
In spite of this challenging social scenario, the schools in the area have good reputation and the children at both primary and secondary levels tend to achieve good results.
As regards transportation, Forest Gate station, which is an over-ground line, is only a few minutes’ walk from the church and many bus routes go past Emmanuel Church. Stratford Underground station, which is on the central line, is only a few bus stops away.