A Rugby church has received £10,000 from the Big Lottery to run language classes and help them make big plans with local people about how it can servce the community.
St Peter and St John Church doesn’t have a community centre and the church wants to work with residents and other organisations to make it more user-friendly.
The Clifton Road church, known locally as PJ’s, also wants to help with some essential services that may be needed in the area.
To start with, they will put on language classes for new arrivals from eastern Europe and further afield and will be fundraising for a new toilet block. In the long term, they hope to re-open the front entrance that was blocked up in 1984 after a fire.
The Rev Sheila Bridge said: “We are a small congregation with a large building.
“We’ve been talking for a long time about how the building can be altered to be more use to our community. We’ve even had some plans drawn up and given it a name – Project Welcome. “But, until now, we haven’t had the money to make it happen. We’re so excited about the Lottery grant because it means we can employ someone to work with us on a feasibility study and funding plan. It’s about creating a place for our whole community, so it’s really important that everyone has a say in what this should be.”
Andy Duncan, from regeneration consultancy AJD Regeneration, who are leading the work said: “Over the next six months we’ll be talking to as many people as possible to find out about the needs of the area and getting to know people.”