Hemblington shortlisted for ‘most innovative church community project’
All Saints’ new facilities highlighted for their positive impact
All Saints, Hemblington was shortlisted for a new competition, jointly run by the National Churches Trust and the Marsh Christian Trust.
The awards are designed to show the positive impact that installing new facilities can have on churches and local communities, and aims to celebrate those churches running the most innovative community activities.
All Saints is a Grade I listed building and was previously underused. The changes included creating level access for people with reduced mobility and a wheelchair accessible toilet. Not only have they increased the number of regular users of the church, but it has also meant that these groups are now able to extend their usage.
The church also formed an events committee to create events and activities to bring together the community in new and traditional ways, particularly around nature and engagement with heritage. New events included presentations by local wildlife experts; a study day on the architecture of the church attended; and a visit from the University of the Third Age.
Matthew McDade, Diocesan Executive Officer for Church Buildings, said:
“It is wonderful to see such a proactive parish achieving greater flexibility in how they use their church. These new facilities will enhance what is already a much-loved building and the local community can be justly proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
The competition was open to any Christian congregation in the UK who had seen new facilities installed in 2014/15.
The judges’ criteria for the shortlist included a demonstrable social benefit; best practice in management and organisation; and a project that serves deprived or marginalised communities.
Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:
“The National Churches Trust works to ensure that the UK’s churches are in good repair and able to serve local people. The impressive shortlist for ‘The Marsh Awards for Innovative Projects’ demonstrates how churches can do invaluable work for communities if they have the right facilities available…”
We’re awaiting confirmation that the Awards are taking place again… once known we’ll highlight in PCC News.
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