For the last decade the church congregation has been faithfully praying about how they could use their building to serve their community.
In 2012 Allenton was 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.
What it will deliver
St Martin’s working with and alongside other community groups will provide:
- An affordable community café providing a meeting place for the deprived in the area.
- Toddler groups (much needed in this poor area)
- A community garden set within this busy urban area, boasting ‘plot to plate’ initiatives, sensory garden and outdoor play
- A community project (involving the café) supporting adults with learning difficulties
- Strengthening existing links with ‘Enthusiasm’ providing a place for youth clubs and dance groups
- New community rooms for local groups to meet and hold events
- New toilets and disabled facilities that local shoppers can use
- Provide a refurbished Church building fit for 21st Century Worship
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Read the latest articles and media releases to follow this exciting project:
August 2017 – Derby Telegraph: £350k community centre being created in Allenton
August 2017 – Connect East Midlands Article: Major new community centre in Allenton
July 2017 – East Midlands Business Link Report: ‘Demolition Day’ Swings Into Action
We have had a really blessed last few months at The Church on Oakwood. Links with the local school have grown massively. ‘Open the Book’ continue to lead assemblies each Wednesday morning at two local schools; Becky, our new Family Worker, leads a lunchtime club for junior aged children every Monday. In the lead up to Easter, we were joined by children in Year 1 as they were invited into the Church to take part in Experience Easter. In June, Years 5&6 joined us for a morning called ‘It’s your Church’. This was a truly amazing morning of inter-generational working and the feedback from both the school and volunteers, who made the morning happen, was so positive and encouraging.
We are looking forward to a range of summer activities such as Holiday Club for children aged 5-11 years; Wednesday picnics and games on Oakwood Park for all ages; Saturday Family Film nights, to name a few! Also, Oakwood Gala – as a Church, we are pleased to be serving refreshments in the Community Centre and able to offer an Open-Air Service again with Woodlands Church for the local community, before the formal opening of the Gala.
In September, we are looking forward to welcoming our new minister, Rev’d Neil Draper and family into the Church and wish Rev’d Peter and Cathy Bates all the best as they move to their new Circuit.
Allestree News: July 2017
Since the last e-letter we have had Mrs Sue Nickson (District President of MWIB) come to talk to the Friendly Circle. She spoke about her life and how she came to be President. A collection was made for “Chicks” which is her Charity during her presidency.
Bible Study and Friendly Circle continue to flourish.
Cameo has changed days and now meet on the Tuesday when there is no Friendly Circle or Bible Study.
Future events we have planned are:-
July 15th Summer Fair at 2.30 p.m. at the Church. There will be cakes, plants, books, cards and cream teas. Please come and join us.
Harvest Festival September 16th Bugs and Spuds.
Please pray for our congregation, many getting on in years but still giving their support in whatever way they can, some unable to come now but still supporting us in prayer.
Sue Wilson, a steward at Chellaston Methodist Church was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2017. Sue says:
My BEM I understand will be engraved, ‘for services to Chellaston’. I started at Chellaston Methodist in 1963 attending Sunday School and then the Youth Club. Although I was a SS teacher and secretary during the 1970’s my involvement with various offices really started in 1990. I taught in the SS and became Superintendent for a number of years. I helped with and then led Holiday Club, latterly with our friends from St Peters for a week each summer and about 8 years ago I decided to extend it to include a session before Christmas. More recently I have been involved with safeguarding, became a Steward and organised Messy Church following my retirement.
The Lord Lieutenant also mentioned in his letter my contribution to the county of Derbyshire which includes my work as a magistrate. I was appointed in 1994 and am currently a chairperson in both the criminal and family court and sit in Derby one day a week.
(Methodist Relief and Development) July 2017
At the moment, the most urgent relief work carried out by All We Can is in East Africa, in countries worst affected by drought and famine. These include South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen in the Middle East. The distribution of aid is made more difficult by civil wars in South Sudan, and Yemen. All We Can is very appreciative of the £420,000 donated recently for famine relief, which has enabled the supply of sorghum, beans, cooking oil, and a nutritious peanut paste for babies to famine stricken areas. This is welcome news to people who have been trying to survive on bitter leaves, and water lilies, of little nutritional value.
The lean season in these areas is July, and three counties in South Sudan are already suffering famine. The Methodist Church is appealing for people to continue to give towards All We Can’s programme for famine relief. I am very pleased to have received £130 in the last few weeks for the appeal, and would ask people to keep up the effort, whether donations are sent to me to forward, or direct to Head Office at www.allwecan.org.uk/famine (or call 020 7467 5132)
Perhaps churches are already planning their Harvest Services, so please keep the All We Can Harvest Appeal in mind. This year the focus is on setting up small enterprises keeping chickens in Zimbabwe, and the slogan is ‘Chirp for Joy’. Many poorer people find it difficult to buy food, where prices are very high due to rampant inflation. The setting up of small chicken farms for poorer people in the countryside will be a life- saver. Harvest Packs for services, including a DVD, are available at www.allwecan.org.uk/harvest (or order by phone) I will have a few packs available on the All We Can stall at the Derby and Nottingham District
Synod on Sept. 16th at Riverside, Pride Park, Derby. At the Synod in April, this stall inspired a collection for All We Can from Synod members which amounted to £500, and I am very grateful for their interest, and wonderful support.
Derby Circuit Rep. ‘All We Can
Ministries Celebration – 12th February 2017
As part of our ten priorities for the year, Littleover Methodist Church recently hosted a celebration of the different ministries that take place in and around the church. The aim was to celebrate what we do, and allow the congregation to see the different ministries and activities showcased and so raise their awareness. Each group within the church made a board which set out what each group does and how it contributes to our overall vision of being people that live like Jesus, reaching out with God’s hope and love.
It was a wonderful time of worship and celebration, as we abandoned our traditional pattern of morning worship to do this. We realised through this process that there are over 50 different ministries either being run by the church or where people from the church serve. These ranged from children’s and young people’s groups, Messy Church, Sycamores (our outreach to mainly over 50’s), our minibus-to-church service and plenty of others. It really encouraged us and helped people to see where there were some spaces to get involved in the life of the church.
Thank you to all who have supported the handbags and ladies under wear appeal. We have been overwhelmed by your generosity.
We had a generous donation from District Methodist Women in Britain who have provided some leisure wear for the ladies to wear after showering. We have had Footwashing Church logo on the tracksuits and some ladies have been given them to sleep in in the nightshelter returning them for washing when they come to midday prayers on Thursday. Those of you who have asked ‘what ongoing support can I give’? This would be one way that does not involve your time. We hope to replenish our stock of leisurewear and so if anyone would like to make an individual anonymous donation we will be happy to replenish our stocks.
Susanna Wesley House’s prayer life and hospitality is widening in its small group work if you would like to know more please express your interest either through Angela at the Circuit Office or through Marianne Obong-Oshotse, our Safeguarding Officer.
Our garden project is in its embryonic state. We have an exciting partnership with a Landscape gardener at Alvaston Castle. The ‘quiet garden’ plan has been created with a Christian emphasis in the planting. Work will begin with the laying of slabs which will be done by Scouts who are working towards a relevant badge. If you would be happy to keep them supplied in home baking as they work please contact Angela at the Circuit Office.
Please pray for the ecumenical work of the city centre and the contribution that Susanna Wesley House is offering. That Footwashing Church will in the future have a more inclusive welcome to those in our traditional church congregations as well those who are unchurched or would consider themselves as dechurched.
This newsletter is an opportunity to take a look at what we have done and are doing because it is easy to think we just continue with routine activities.
- In September our minister, Gareth, challenged the congregation to read the bible in a year. Members of the local Anglican church have joined in and there are 2 groups meeting weekly with Gareth to discuss and question the passages from the well defined reading programme. It has tested our commitment during these dismal winter months to keep up with the old testament passages but the support of the group has kept us focused.
- Also in September a new children’s group started for the under 5s called Tots Praise. It is a mixture of songs, crafts, snacks always including a simple Bible story, prayer and praise song. Attendance has been variable but after lots of prayer the numbers have been more encouraging lately.
- Another new initiative was the men’s breakfast attended by about 16, held monthly – and cooked by ladies!
- At Christmas alongside the usual services and activities we joined churches from Willington to sing carols at Mercia Marina at one of their special events.
For a second year we asked older village residents especially the housebound if they would like one or two from chapel to go to their homes and share some of the Christmas story through carols, a reading and blessing. It was a wonderful experience for all.
- We invited members of the parish church to the covenant service in January and as we committed ourselves to discipleship we prayed for more opportunities to work together.
- The chapel is a wonderful resource for outreach. Many different groups use it for meetings as it is such a flexible area. One day it has the gentle exercise group, another the craft group, the ever popular lunch club or tea afternoons, maybe a church group wanting an away day or the local schoolchildren doing environmental work. We praise the Lord for enabling us to change the traditional village chapel into a lively place of worship able to offer a welcome to many different people.
We are pleased to be hosting another Lent Course this year within the Church on a Tuesday evening as well offering an Experience Easter to our local school, inviting different year groups into the building during the school day to learn important parts of the Easter story.
We are in an exciting period in seeing where God is leading The Church on Oakwood, especially in terms of Family Work – with the families connected already to the Church through Walkers & Talkers toddler group, Messy Church, Activity Days and Holiday Clubs along with building further bridges with our local community, Children’s Centre and local schools. We have seen a number of huge blessings to the Church over this last month and are looking forward to where 2017 is heading
St. John’s Methodist Church Allestree decided as part of our Outreach to get involved in ‘Toilet Twinning’ which could involve all areas of the church and others who use our premises.
Toilet twinning is a simple quirky way to solve a serious problem and save lives. For £60 we can twin one of our own toilets with a latrine half way around the world. £240 you can twin a school block or toilets in a displacement camp.
One very valuable part of the exercise is that girls and women will no longer have to go into the bush to go to the toilet which can be dangerous and very unhygienic.
The concept has captured the imagination of the various groups who are thinking of ways to raise money in a different way e.g. the beavers are planning on using it to work for a badge, and a small mock up toilet is being used by several groups to post their money into.
We have already raised enough to buy 2 toilets and by Easter hopefully will have enough money to buy a block. Your smallest room becomes the proud owner of a certificate, complete with a photo and GPS coordinates so you can look up your twin on Google maps. Family by family, community by community, nation by nation poverty is being flushed away.
For more information please see http:/www.org/what-is-toilet-twinning/