Opening Doors - Longframlington's new community facility
After three years of letter-writing, fundraising and the generosity of people near and far, the Opening Doors project at St Mary the Virgin, Longframlington, has borne fruit with the opening in September of the church's new community room.
Over many years the PCC had discussed the inadequacy of the lighting and heating in the church, and of the social space available in the Church Room, a decaying single-storey building placed inconveniently across the road from the church.
Facing the need for urgent repairs to the historic church building, the PCC enthusiastically adopted the suggestion of Priest-in-Charge the Revd Simon White that a new, sympathetic extension could be built on the north side of the church to provide a new community room with direct access from the church, and the project could include replacing the heating and lighting in the church to link with that in the new section.
Thus the Opening Doors project was launched, to open doors to the wider village community by providing an additional, medium sized space, as well as to improve the facilities for those using the church.
The completed extension is connected to the north wall of the church by a glass fillet so that light can still get through the stained glass windows into the church, and the oldest sections of the church wall feature as part of the space. In addition to the costs of the building, St Mary's has also secured funding for a part time Community Coordinator, who has recently started work to identify unmet needs within the village and to negotiate with other venues and organisations over ways to meet these needs using all the accommodation available.
- To celebrate the completion of the project, and to thank those who have contributed materially or by giving their time to fundraising etc, St Mary's is holding an Autumn Flower Festival on the weekend of 14 – 16 September 2012. The theme of the Festival is “Community Living” and displays will represent many of the organisations and activities which take place in Longframlington.
Preview on Friday 14 September from 7.30pm (tickets £5 to include drinks and nibbles). The church and new room will be open for visitors throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.
A charity concert will be held on Saturday 15 September in support of the Reedham Trust featuring the Ashington and District Male Voice Choir at 7.00pm (tickets £8 to include wine and cheese).
On Sunday 16 September: Festival Service and Blessing of the new Community Room and Coordinator by the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, at 10.45am.
St Mary's would like to extend a warm invitation to anyone who would like to visit during the weekend to help celebrate the achievement of the Opening Doors Project and the start of the next stage of developing community facilities for all.
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