The St Nicolas Centre Appeal has come about for several reason
- St Nicolas is a growing church and as we increase in numbers we are running out of space.
- One of our main aims is to be “open to community“. Already there are many different activities taking part in our church and church hall, but we believe its part of Gods plan that we should do more.
- In 2014 we were left a generous legacy by a long standing member of St Nicolas, Pat Dummer. As a result we saw the possibility of expanding the site at St Nicolas to increase the space available and the activities taking place. The “open door project” was born.
A large community survey identified some key themes
1.LONELINESS & ISOLATION
There are very few places that people can meet in Earley. We already host lots of groups and activties that bring people together. The St Nicolas Centre will be a fantastic place for people to come and meet one another.
2. THE NEED TO ACCESS SUPPORT FROM THE ORGANISATIONS WHICH OPERATE ON OUR SITE
Parents and carers of under school age children, Young people coming in from school before parents are home, people working from home and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely or isolated.We are partnering with JAC (Just Around the Corner) to provide a drop in for teenage children. And with Age UK on activities for elderly people. To name but two.
3. IMPROVING A SENSE OF BELONGING ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE WHO FEEL MARGINALISED
We are planning an English conversation class, a lunch club and partnering with a local charity who provide free advice and support. Currently we have only 2 main spaces; the St Nicolas Centre will provide more rooms large and small and a central meeting area with a lively café.
4. A PLACE WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE CAN FLOURISH
We have fantastic relationships with our two local primary schools. We have children and young people coming to St Nicolas every week. And we host REinspired, a great charity that enriches the RE lessons for thousands of children in our area every year. All of these existing things will be improved by the St Nicolas Centre and will allow us to begin a new drop in for teenagers and counselling service.
“The St Nicolas Centre will be a community hub where people will be nurtured bodily and spiritually – finding help and friendship. The café and activity rooms will be a welcoming and fit for purpose place for all ages, faiths and interests.”