The Church and the Community

When we started on renewing the buildings our then Minister, Stephen Biddall, suggested that we call it the Welcome Centre as we wanted local folk to feel at home when coming to use it, and come they do, literally from A – Z as ACE use it as do Zumba dance groups – and everyone in between!  We have a baby Clinic and Derby & Joan Club, birthday parties and Police sessions, the Pier Ward Forum (of which we are part) Drama groups and numerous committees and we average over 40 hours a week with these friends coming in.

But what about us? Initially all our energies seemed to be absorbed in the re-building etc., but as this was completed, new doors of opportunity opened up and we have drawn them together under the Enfold Project umbrella.

Enfold itself started in February 2012 and offers a cooked breakfast and showering opportunities every Thursday to the homeless and disadvantaged in the area, with an attendance around the 40 mark each week. Apart from the cooking and serving of the food, there are always a few of us around to talk and befriend those that come in each week. There are also others coming in to support the work, with Nurses from Beacon House (a Christian group based in Colchester), the Citizens Advice Bureau, The Volunteer Centre Tendring and others are also joining in with us. We are backed enthusiastically by the Essex County Council and the local Primary Care Trust.

Child Contact Centre @ Pier Avenue: This is to enable children from estranged families to see the non-resident parent and we receive families referred either by the Family Courts or by the family solicitors. We were asked to take this on as the only centre in the Tendring area and we are members of the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC).

Community Money Advice @ Pier Avenue: We will be working as an affiliate member of CMA with a team able to give help to those in financial crisis, including debt counselling. The team has received training and preparations are in hand so that we open in the Spring of 2013.

And what else? We will be running computer/IT classes during 2013 and sometimes encouraged by us, in cooperation with us or even subsidised by us, will be a number of helping hands springing up among which will be a work/job club to help get folk back into work.

If you would like to support this work you can do so by clicking on the Local Giving button on the website.