Churches are coming together to celebrate the good things happening in the borough that came bottom in the Government's wellbeing survey.
One local resident bleakly told the Guardian it was "one big cesspit here" but instead of joining in the sentiment, Colin Baker, of local church group Transformation Thurrock, decided to bring churches together to cast a different vision for the borough.
The visioning night was attended by around 50 community leaders, including Cllr Lynn Worrell, who gave a message of support.
Local leaders heard about 'good news' partnerships being developed across the borough, including lunchtime clubs, youth centres, mentoring projects, a foodbank and a café.
The leaders got behind Thurrock Celebrates, a new initiative to support these partnerships and raise awareness of them among members of the public.
The initiative will use Facebook and other social media platforms to generate more interest in the partnerships.
A showcase evening is being planned for early 2014 to highlight the partnerships and progress of Thurrock Celebrates.