Community Hub News
The big news for us at the moment remains our closer involvement with Community Church Rochford (CCR).
CCR were meeting on Sundays at the Freight House but had out-grown this and moved to King Edmund School and will continue to do so (our church worship area isn't big enough to hold them all!).
CCR used to lease a shop ('number one') just off the Market Square where they sold children's toys and books, and they used the back of the shop for Prayer Meetings, Craft work, etc. They also ran a Breakfast Club at St Mark's Field. The lease on the shop was due to run out and they approached us to see if we could accommodate their Community services at our Church.
As it happens, we had for some time been independently looking at providing some of the services we later discovered CCR were already providing, but we did not have sufficient people who were willing or able (or have the necessary skills) to carry them through successfully. Their approach came a few days after our church members had held an 'Awayday' where we had outlined our ideas for the following seven years and prayed for help in serving the Community at large.
Divine intervention, or what?!
There were lots of discussions in the background as we worked through 'good practice,' covenant document, Methodist legal processes, etc, and eventually reached the point where CCR announced they would give up the lease on the shop and move their activities to our church premises. This will be more than just a church hiring, but will be a joint venture using the Methodist Church as a 'Community Hub'.
Both churches recognise the good services that our current hirers provide in the local community, so all through our discussions we have been careful not to interfere with their use of the premises. Only one organisation is affected slightly and we have done our best to ensure it doesn't cause too much difficulty for them.
The building is now used a lot more and there is is likely to be somebody representing both the churches on the premises for large parts of the day. The Vestry doubles-up (and has been fitted-out) as an office and the Benson Room is a comfortable lounge area, but still remains suitable for small meetings, etc.
Additional facilities will become available as time goes by and there will be a programme of redecoration and refurbishment to bring the building fully up to date.
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