St Luke the Evangelist is a 'registered inclusive' church serving a parish of 5,000 residents. The church sits at the heart of the parish in an area of significant economic and social deprivation - issues which have had a real impact on young people and the older members of the community.
The church’s current hall is widely used by and for the local community, but the building is past its best and falls well short of acceptable standards of accessibility. There is no proper access for people with disabilities and the toilets aren’t fit for purpose.
St Luke’s Community Hub Project will replace the hall and improve the accessibility and flexibility of the church building in support of the church’s missional and social purposes. The new accessible building will have a larger footprint with an accessible entrance; extra space for groups and services; and accessible toilets which will link the new hall and church.
The new hall will have a number of roles, from helping to distribute food to those in need, to hosting support groups for people experiencing dementia, poor mental health, and deprivation. It is hoped that the extra space and facilities will help to grow the church’s ability to take action in the community and support the most vulnerable.
St Luke’s Churchwarden Colette Longbottom, said: “St Luke’s Community Hub is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to renew the church’s offer and welcome to people who come here for faith, friendship or support, to celebrate and learn, to meet old friends and new ones too.
“Our grant from Benefact Trust will help make both our existing church building and the new hub building next door accessible to people of different abilities and needs, and help us to welcome all people, whatever has brought them here.”
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We are very pleased to support St Luke’s outreach through distribution of supermarket surplus food, provision of social spaces and occasions for those who might struggle without them, and its offer of a community space as well as a place of Christian ministry and mission.
“We can’t wait to see the finished hub which will make such a difference in the community.”