COMMUNITY USE OF CHURCHES
An important conference Crossing the Threshold: A Community Development Approach to the use of Church Buildings was held in Hereford on November 19th. All the supporting information has been put on a website and anyone thinking about adapting their church for community use will find the information very useful indeed.
The main event was the launch of a new Toolkit which takes churches through the whole process of opening up their church for wider community use. As well as four workshops looking at some of the practical guidance contained within the Toolkit and also two site visits to two success stories, there were also presentations from the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, English Heritage, and the Department of Communities and Local Government. There was also a report back on the recent review of the Rural Churches in Community Service Programme Ten Years On.
The Toolkit and all the presentations can be downloaded from the Diocese of Hereford website:
The Toolkit is helpfully broken down into sections so no one has to download the whole Toolkit in one go.
There was also a DVD which features people from four Hereford villages, Peterstow, Peterchurch, Yarpole and Bridge Sollars talking about their particular projects in their historic churches and how they did it! These four churches between them now house, within their building, a branch library, a community shop, and a Childrens' Service Centre as well as numerous other community activities and other local authority services. The DVD should be available to all who are interested shortly, Just keep an eye on the website.
_____________posted December 7th 2009____________________