Slice of Christ lands in Stratford

Christians gathered at the first Church E20 meeting at Tina, We Salute You in East Village.

Christians gathered at the first Church E20 meeting at Tina, We Salute You in East Village. - Credit: Archant

An Anglican vicar broke with tradition this week by opening a church – in a restaurant.

Rev Annie McTighe, 47, arrived in Stratford 18 months ago determined to serve followers of Christ from St Paul’s and St James Church.

But on Monday she opened a church close to her East Village home, praising God among diners at Tina, We Salute You in Stratford.

Although admitting she is wary of the logistics involved in the smooth running of a church in an eatery, Annie says she hopes to spread love among the growing Olympic Park community and help it develop a culture of its own.

“I’ve worked with this community for the last 18 months and I thought now was the right time to open a church,” she said. “We want to be a church within the community, serving the community and loving the community – it’s all about unity.”

The church’s debut service on Monday focused on the importance of being faithful to God, using Genesis 12 as a focal point.

But Annie says it’s important not to rely too heavily on Bible readings.

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She’s mindful of the young demographic in East Village and says she’ll try to make Christianity appeal to younger audiences.

“The preaching will be relevant – it won’t just be telling Bible stories,” she said. “We live around issues of fundamentalism, confusion and poverty.”

She thinks that compromising tradition will enable the message of the church to gather more followers.

“A traditional church follows expectations,” she said. “Myself and the team are growing a church and seeing what God wants and what the community needs.

“It’s a church for everyone, it’s not just about a certain group – we’re encouraging others and supporting them in whatever they are doing.”

The church, which is called Church E20, will continue to hold services at the restaurant in East Village and is non-denominational.

You can find out more by emailing for service details.