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Archbishop to Lead Service of Thanksgiving at Drypool, Hull

Friday 6th May 2011

On Sunday 8 May 2011, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will lead a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the end of a five-year project to make St John’s Church (Drypool), Rosmead St, Hull, a warmer and inviting place for the whole community.

The service will start at 6.30pm and will be followed by an opportunity to see the finished building with refreshments afterwards.

Built in 1924, the church is the only community facility in the area, apart from two schools. Time and the elements had taken their toll on the building. Its roof leaked, its heating system was unreliable and inefficient, and access was poor for wheelchair users and people with prams and pushchairs.

In 2006 the Church Council decided to improve the facilities in the church building so it could be also used as a community centre, and started planning and fundraising. With support from local development agency PROBE, they were able to secure funding from the European Regional Development Fund to start the work.

Since then, the building’s structure and roof has been refurbished, making it warm and watertight. Access has been improved and new spaces, including an exhibition/meeting space, meeting rooms, toilets, and a café have been created. A new heating system has also been installed.

As well as being a place for regular worship, it is now the base for a wide range of events and activities throughout the week, including a youth club, a Mums & Toddlers Group, adult learning and training.

The total budget for the work has been £836,000, with funding coming from a number of different sources, including ERDF, BIG Lottery, WREN and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded £24,651 through the Landfill Communities Fund. 

When planning the refurbishment, the church consulted the local community, informing them of the planned designs at open days and community forums.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, ‘Churches are at their very best when they are hospitable to all the people around them and serving their communities – and infecting them with God’s goodness!  As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbour, and the people of St John are loving and serving the people of Drypool with these new facilities.’

Speaking about the project and its official opening, the church’s vicar, the Reverend Christopher Grundy, says, ‘The new developments will benefit the whole community. The events on offer will reduce social isolation, increase confidence, help people to move towards employment and improve health. We are so pleased that Dr Sentamu is coming to help us celebrate – it’s a real honour.’

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold, adds, 'The Trust works to support community and environmental projects across the UK.  Churches such as St John’s are often at the heart of people’s lives and we were happy to be able to help improve the building and enhance the facilities it offers. I look forward to hearing about the many activities and events that will take place there in the future.’


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