Becontree Estate, Easter message, lymphoma help and support for renters

Becontree estate centenary

The White House Dagenham is calling out for the community to get involved with projects it's organising to mark 100 years of the Becontree Estate. - Credit: LBBD

Make centennial one in a million

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes: 

The centenary of a major event in Becontree is not far away and plans are being formed to recognise this major milestone for the Barking and Dagenham district on the Becontree Estate.

This estate was possibly the world’s largest housing estates at a time of acute housing shortage between the First and Second World Wars, following the Great Depression of the late 1920s.

It set itself up at that time as a model for society by establishing all the essential requirements - such as schools, parks, libraries, transport and hospitals - to be within a reasonable distance for the estate. This made it a great place to live.

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There has been formed a committee called the Becontree Forever programme to reflect the history of this most ambitious estate from the early days in various projects, such as artwork as well as a sculpture planned with the appropriate title Vision of Paradise.

Because it was once a pinnacle of development during those difficult times, it is worth recalling the progress made since then in the Barking and Dagenham district to turn the Vision into a reality.

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The Forever programme requests anyone with any recollection of the early days provide memorabilia in the form of art, articles, personal anecdotes, photos or songs to add to the celebration and contribute toward this centennial occasion.

They can be sent to the White House Dagenham

This is a great chance to highlight an area of the local district that has a historical birthplace of success and good planning, and restore pride in the Becontree Estate.

Make this centennial one in a million.

Easter message of hope in the future

Right Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking.

Right Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking - Credit: Diocese of Chelmsford

Right Revd Peter Hill, bishop of Barking, writes:

Easter changes everything! And as we begin to emerge from this cruel pandemic, we so long for change.
It feels like the wilderness of lent and the agony of Holy Week have lasted a whole year as we have travelled the way of the cross with our crucified Lord.

The more so for the many who have been brutally struck down with Covid or bereaved: that has been their harshest reality and experience.

On a Friday which we now call “Good”, Jesus’ friends had seen him beaten, bruised, bleeding and finally stone cold dead on a cross.

Their only consolation was that he was now resting in peace and buried in a rock tomb that was secured by a massive stone.

But it was not the end. Breaking out on the third day, Jesus destroyed the power of suffering and death and showed that there is more life to come for us all: here and now and beyond this pandemic’s worst.

Our Lord Jesus did not rest in peace, he rose in power. Easter changes everything!

If Jesus did rise from the dead, then there is no more important fact in the universe or for our existence.

He broke out of the tomb so that he could break into our lives: to offer us total hope now and for the future.
For me, at the age of 20, finally realising that truth was the game changer. The risen Jesus broke in to my life and transformed me from an argumentative atheist into a Christian disciple: far from easily, but definitely.

Nothing has been the same since.

But Easter is not only personal, it is cosmic. It is the promise of God for our broken world.

We are on our way to a new creation; a new earth where pandemics, disasters, destruction and decay will be no more. Evil and injustice will be wiped away. All will be made new, more real than ever. True peace will reign. This world is a mere shadow of what is to come.

Easter is a vision of the future with God. It is here now and is coming to a place near you! And we are called to join in.

There are times in all our lives when we feel despondent, broken and defeated or simply apathetic...there seems to be no real hope in the world.

That has been the experience of so many this past year. And that is exactly how the disciples felt after the crucifixion, but it was not the end for Jesus rose from the dead.

God still breaks out with new life and possibility so that he can break into where we are and how we are today.

Charity looking to help more people

Ropinder Gill, chief executive at Lymphoma Action, writes:

Lymphoma Action are asking anyone in the area who has been affected by lymphoma to take part in a short, anonymous online survey to help them make sure that everyone affected by this type of blood cancer can receive the information and support that they need.

The survey can be found here:

Our goal is to support anyone affected by lymphoma, but we are aware that there are still people we are not reaching.

We want to understand the barriers that may be holding people back from using our services or holding us back from engaging with them.

By completing our survey, you can help us increase our impact by making our information and support accessible and relevant to everyone.

For further information on Lymphoma Action’s survey, visit:

Standing with renters in London

Zack Polanski, Green Party London-wide Assembly candidate, writes:

As a renter I have moved house 12 times in 10 years.

Like so many Londoners, I’ve lived in properties with damp and mould, where the tenancy is insecure and there’s a constant threat of unexpected rent increases.

Some of my landlords have been excellent - and some not so much.

I’m inspired by Sian Berry’s commitment to stand with renters. Sian is a renter herself, and she is running to be the first ever Green mayor of London.

She’ll be a campaigning mayor who will work with other mayors to win the powers we need to bring down rents in London, and strengthen renters’ rights.

Sian has already been standing up for renters on the London Assembly. 

She got the current mayor to acknowledge the need for rent controls.

Meanwhile, more and more renters have fallen into debt.

As mayor, Sian Berry will stand with millions of her fellow renters, and that’s the mayor London needs right now.

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