We welcome Carne Hill to the St Austell West section of the Circuit. A small village church with 20 members deep in the heart of clay country. Rev Joan Watson has j pastoral charge of Carne Hill and met with its members to explore the way forward. At the extra-ordinary Church Council meeting mission and outreach was high on the agenda.
There is much to be done as the building needs a lot of work doing to it and until we can be sure where God wants to take us and with which community groups we need to source and resource how we move ahead.
Out of the meeting a new mission and vision statement was born so that we begin testing the water as to where God wants us to move -
Carne Hill Methodist Church St Dennis Cornwall
St Austell Circuit 12/7
Mission and Vision Statement September 2013
The vision and mission for Carne Hill Methodist Church is to create a much needed centre for the community that will meet some of the many needs of this greatly deprived area.
We are learning that the whole mission of the church is one of love and grace, thereby reaching out with an open door policy to provide a safe space for worship, play, learning, recreation, workshops and surgeries whereby other groups will in effect glorify God in a practical way by enabling a fulfilling social space that will re-establish the church at the heart of the community and improve the relationships we have begun to forge by working together with other community groups.
We are envisioning a 5 year plan to allow Carne Hill Methodist Church to become a realistic centre for the community with a large parking area for 60 cars.
With very few facilities in ‘Clay Country’ this village and surrounding area is in dire need of a space that will meet the very varied community needs of high unemployment and great poverty. Over the years in excess of a million pounds of funding has been given to the town which is over six miles away. As you may gather this venture hardly touches the needs of the community as the majority of folk who live here are elderly, single parent families or unemployed. Therefore going into the town causes even greater expense on already stretched pockets which results in even more hardship and poverty.
Needs of this area
So far we have identified a need for a Playgroup. This would not be in competition with the Family Centre, as they only have twelve spaces available for toddlers, two of those spaces need to be kept free for emergency referrals making this kind of work a priority as there is always a long waiting list for a place. Because we are only a short distance from the school this would complement the already existing work being done as well as providing a necessary and vital service for this area.
Age Concern UK is another body we have made contact with and there is a need to provide more Day Care Centres for the elderly across Cornwall. At present there are only two in the County – Falmouth, which operates five days a week and St Austell which runs two days a week, with nothing at all offered in Clay Country thus making something of this nature much needed.
Foodbank too, are looking to place a satellite in this area, a number of our congregation are willing to give their time to helping run something of this nature in the hope that the local Anglican Church would join with us to make this feasible. The people in this area who need to use this facility have to find the means to travel to St Austell at present to receive this help which also causes greater hardship.
So many needs which are not being met – so how can we achieve change to make a difference?
Our building is in a bad state at the moment therefore the first thing we need to do is to get the roof renewed/repaired. We have begun looking for creditable roofers to give us quotes so that we can apply for funding from different sources to make this happen. Our Circuit have agreed in principle to give us a decent grant subject to Circuit Meeting approval (possibly up to £35,000) if we are able to develop a scheme that is both realistic and achievable. (once work begins – within 1 year)
Phase 2: The flooring throughout the building will also need replacing; and so our aim, (with Circuit, District and Connexional approval) for this part of the phasing will be to sell off half of the field which belongs to the property owned by The Methodist Church, for development. This would provide a large input of cash estimated at £180,000 minimum with which to cover much of the cost of refurbishing the building.
During phase 2, the following would happen in the rear Sunday School:
Removal of organ and pews
Removal of gallery
Floor to be dug up
Damp and dry rot to be treated
New floor put in
2 toilets (1 disabled to go in under where the organ is at present)
Sunday School room to be redecorated
This would then give us room to continue worshipping and to offer to other community groups with access to full kitchen facilities (within 2 years)
There is also a vision to hold a regular luncheon club for the elderly, who would otherwise be isolated, still remains a priority, but again, lack of usable space is preventing this from happening at the moment. The social aspect of this alone would have tremendous advantages for the large number of elderly people who live in the village. This could be achieved sooner if we are able to work with Age Concern UK to utilise the chapel area as a community space to compliment the Sunday School room and kitchen.
After completion of the Sunday School room with 2 toilets, (1 disabled), all with full disabled access we feel that the next achievable goal will be the chapel area.
Remove floor (including foyer)
Treat damp and dry rot
Other things needed:
The main sanctuary area would be screened off so that the room is more versatile for community use. Install new sliding doors between the foyer and chapel.
The front foyer would have its own sink, kitchen unit and toilet so that this space is able to be used at the same time as the rear room if/when a Playgroup is in session. It is also a good size space for small meetings and so offers that facility also.
Other groups have shown an interest in using the premises once they are fit for purpose. A large building with parking for up to 60 vehicles would serve the community much better and we have the opportunity to bring God’s Kingdome to the people of this area in a fresh and exciting way by working with different groups which could see new growth and improve feelings of worth.
Carne Hill Methodist Church has the capacity to go from being open approximately 5 hours a month with 80-100 people coming through the doors during that time to being open 124 hours per month serving between 500/1000 people. With the chapel area and Sunday School becoming a safe versatile space we believe that we can more than treble its usage as well as serve this community by providing space for the most vulnerable people at both ends of the age spectrum..
We believe the cost of this could well be quarter to half a million pounds. We have spoken to our local Parish Council who fully support all that we are seeking to do for the community of St Dennis and are excited at the prospect of working together to raise funds so that this vision will become a reality.