Amount awarded: £50,000
At its heart, Hall Green United Methodist Church is a community church which aims to support and improve its local area. The church is located in a diverse ethnic area in Birmingham and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. The layout of the church and accompanying hall had been in place for over 90 years. Realising the potential to truly become a focal point for the community, the church needed to undergo a major renovation programme to open up space and remove access restrictions such as steps to the ground floor level.
Val Dickens, Chair of the Building Strategy Group, is pleased with the progress of the renovation programme. “Because we have a large hall which runs parallel to the sanctuary, they are separate buildings, so we have made an opening in the sanctuary to create a foyer linking them both. This dramatically improves access from the middle of the building and is a really useful link between the two. We’ve also completely redecorated the sanctuary walls and ceilings and have made good the plasterwork.”
Val emphasises the importance of the space being used well and being available to the whole community. Citing the work done within the vestry, Val explains that this space now accommodates emergency exits and a practical communion preparation area. With the wider community in mind, one of the porch areas has been blocked off and turned into a small meeting room which will be useful both for pastoral work within the church and as a place for counselling, when needed.
Hall Green Methodist Church is nearing completion on this major renovation project with the total works costing in excess of £800,000. Referencing the £50,000 grant provided to the church through the Methodist Insurance Fund, Val explains the importance of the grant. “To receive £50,000 as a grant was a vital part of the fundraising effort. Receiving it gave us the confidence to go ahead with the tendering process and enabled us to move the project forward.”
Encapsulating what this work will achieve for the community around Hall Green Methodist Church, Val believes that the church has managed to re-organise the premises so that they offer better value to people visiting and worshipping. This has always been a busy church that offers a wide range of care and social activities. With the renovation nearing completion, Hall Green Methodist Church can now provide an even better service to the wider community.