What is the need?
We are delighted to announce that work on restoring the Parish Centre will commence at the end of February 2014. We estimate that the work will be completed by the autumn so that we can relaunch our ministry to the wider community. Please continue to pray as we seek the final funding, and for the Lord’s blessing in all those helping with the work.
St James the Less is blessed with two large grade I-listed buildings: the Church and the attached Parish Centre. The latter is currently closed because the heating has irrevocably broken down and needs to be replaced, as does much of the electrical wiring. This means the Open Door Meal for homeless people, which used to meet every other week, has been forced to close due to the lack of venue, that the Parish Centre (and Church) has no cooking facilities and that the space available for our own groups and other local groups to use rooms is much reduced.
It also means that plans to start running different kinds of community activities, such as homework clubs and groups for older people, have had to be put on hold as we simply do not have space for them.
Plans are in place to restore the Parish Centre, reconfiguring the space and installing better facilities, as well as solving the health and safety and accessibility issues that exist at present.
How can I help?
Based on detailed plans and careful preliminary work, the Parish Centre project is estimated to cost £705,000, of which we have around £60,000 left to raise. We simply cannot move forward without financial support, to pay the surveyors, electricians, carpenters, decorators and all the different people involved in the project. Your donation will go directly to the costs of the building project.
Many people have already given their time and skills to make this project happen. Some examples of this include:
– Members of the congregation have carried out sponsored events.
– The men’s group carried out demolition work in the refurbished schoolrooms (creating some space for ministries to carry on while the Parish Centre is closed); the women’s group used various chemicals on the walls to clean them further.
– Different items have been sold to raise money, including handmade cards and CDs.