ALMOST 30 churches in Basildon have united to remind young people and the community that "God loves Basildon".

Last October, 27 churches in the town got together to form Love Basildon.

Very similar to the much publicised Love Southend initiative, it wants to take the town by storm with a series of events this summer.

An evening with a three times world kung-fu champion and a best-selling author is one of the events being publicised by the Love Basildon team, led by Tim Blake, minister at the Living Word Community Church, which meets at Steeple View hall.

He said: "We are just one of the members of Love Basildon.

"There are 27 churches in the town of different denominations involved with this."

He says the initiative is to remind everybody God loves the community of Basildon and he pointed to areas where churches have joined forces to get involved in the community.

He added: "Every week a team visits schools to carry out assemblies and take classes using puppetry, drama and story-telling to communicate stories from the Bible.

"We also provide the team for the Bar 'n' Bus youth project in Basildon Town Square. We run Alpha courses and provide care in residential homes and Basildon Hospital. We also have mums and toddlers groups across the town."

On Saturday, September 29, kung fu star Tony Anthony will talk about his life as told in his book Taming The Tiger.

It was a CBC Book of the Year. Tony tells of being sent to China as a four-year old to become a kung fu disciple.

There he spends eight hours a day following a tough and brutal training regime, overseen by the Grand Master, his grandfather.

The Towngate Theatre will host the evening, which starts at 8pm. It also features singer Nicki Rogers.

For more information call 01268 450032.