Work is now well underway to transform the unattractive, tired church buildings at St Martin’s into a state of the art community hub and the church into a building fit for 21st century worship.
How has all this been possible?
For the last decade the small church congregation has been faithfully praying about how they could use their building to serve their community.
In 2012 Allenton was highlighted nationally and given ‘Big Local’ Funding and a community organisation ‘Allenton Big Local’ (ABL) was set up. One of the founding members of the ABL Partnership was also a member at St Martin’s and it soon became evident that there were several groups in Allenton who shared the same social objectives and vision.
Working together with the community groups and with a grant of £70,000 from ABL, ambitious plans were drawn up to extend and refurbish the existing church buildings and develop a community hub. However it soon became obvious that this funding would not be enough to fulfil the dream.
Thinking ‘out of the box’ the partnership viewed the challenge as one not simply about monetary funding. Guided by the church vision and shared group aspiration, the team has built on local network and agency contacts which has resulted in the wider Derby community coming on board in support. The result is a DIY SOS style project, with much of the work being provided free of charge or at cost by local tradesmen.
All the monies provided by the community (now at £85,000) can only be spent on the development of the community hub, but with help from both the Circuit and District the congregation has been able build into the project a refurbishment of the church itself. This will include a new heating system, the fixing of the leaking roof, insulation and rendering of the church building.
Where we are now
At the time of writing (beginning Nov 2017) we have 48 fabulous new windows, the extension walls for the community café have been built, done by apprentices from the National Construction Academy and steels for the roof are about to go up. The hall and meeting rooms are midway through being re plastered and painted, all being done by apprentices from Derby College. The project has provided a fantastic training ground for Derby teenagers.
The total value of the work being done is in excess of £500,000 yet the total bill will be less than £120,000. We continue to praise God for what he is doing at St Martin’s and eagerly look forward to completion of the project in early 2018 when the real work starts. The community hub will provide an exciting platform for fellowship, service and mission and plans are already being made to make the most of the unique opportunity to extend His Kingdom.