Phases 1 and 2 are complete… a new glazed entrance draws the eye in to see that within our church building. There is light where once many who walked by saw no more than a dark, foreboding edifice. Hopefully, they will also see some life within, too, or perhaps rest a while within the new landscaping that invites people to come in and sit. Our Community Garden, too, adjoining Haldane House, should prove to be a quiet haven for neighbours and others who do not enjoy garden spaces of their own.
Our premises have been transformed! We have been worshipping in our transformed sanctuary since November when phase 1 was completed and phase 2 was begun. Six months later we no longer use the tradesmen entrance at the side of the building but access easily from our new entrance. Instead of climbing steps up to what once was the main entrance a new one has been created with a ramp allowing wheelchair users to come in using the same route as everyone else. We’ve entered the 21st century at Jesmond URC and so we celebrated this by having an Open Weekend.
On Saturday our church premises were open all day when we offered musical interludes, light refreshments, a children`s party and afternoon tea…. oh, and tours of the premises, too, of course! In the afternoon the Community Garden was officially opened by Councillor Felicity Mendelson when there was hardly any space left within the beautiful garden as a crowd of folk gathered to see Felicity cut a special cake. On Sunday afternoon we held a rededication service when Assembly Moderator, John Ellis, preached. He encouraged us to ensure that our building lives and does not become a museum.
As a worshipping community the members of Jesmond URC pray that they will be guided to use the premises to God`s glory. Already we see that it is not just God`s house but also a place with a homely feel, a place where people mingle and have a real sense of belonging… so much so that they often don`t want to leave and go back to their own homes!!! So now we enter into phase 3 which is that of building up our fellowship and the kingdom of God; this will include ensuring that our premises and our community garden will offer spaces where people can find God and his love.
We are grateful to and to Northern Synod Trust, Garfield Weston Trust Fund and the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust for thoer generous grants but it has to be said those who gave and raised the greater amount were members of Jesmond URC themsleves.
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