The Trust's Methodist Grants Programme supports Methodist churches to run building and development projects focussed on church growth, community engagement and improved accessibility.
The programme is funded primarily by donations from Methodist Insurance PLC, and its aim is to enhance the mission and ministry of the Methodist Church in the UK and Ireland.
Here are a couple of the latest projects to receive a festive funding boost:
Bray Methodist Church, County Wicklow
Bray Methodist Church was built in 1795 and is a Grade 1 listed building in the heart of Bray. Over time, many of the local Methodist churches closed and joined with Bray to form one large church in Country Wicklow. Couple this with the economic boom of the 1990s when many new families moved to the area, Bray Methodist became a vibrant hub at the centre of the community.
However, with the economic downturn in recent years, many families have left the area to find work elsewhere, leaving around 30 families who regularly attend the church. Live streaming of services during the pandemic has seen a significant increase in those engaging with the church, and alongside meeting the needs of the community, the church wants to adapt the space to make it fit for purpose for this new way of delivering services.
A £15,000 grant from Benefact Trust’s Methodist Grants Programme will help the church to replace its uninviting entrance and the old-style pews which are uncomfortable and inflexible for community use, build a new kitchen, and make the toilets wheelchair accessible. In addition, the church will upgrade its PA system for higher quality live streaming services.
Trinity Methodist Church, Spennymoor, County Durham
Trinity Methodist has a vision to make the church accessible for all. As a growing church with good community outreach, Trinity wants to build on this and make the whole building usable for community and church activities.
A condemned lift means that most activities have to be held in the halls downstairs which limits the number of people who can attend, this can disconnect the church from the community.
In the past the church has hosted talent shows, flower festivals, Christmas concerts and community fun days which all help local people to see the church as an extension of the community.
With the support of £10,000 Methodist funding, Trinity will be able to replace the old lift and open up the building for more activities which the whole community can enjoy.