St John's Beeston - A Church In The Community
Heritage and the Present
Beeston town centre is going through an enormous amount of physical, economic and social change at the moment and we at St John's are looking to make a distinctive contribution to the life of our local community. The historic Church building sits very close to the town centre and its presence is widely appreciated by many people who do not attend for worship. The Churchyard is a place where people increasingly gather to socialise and we recognise that this is an asset with opportunities for outreach and hospitality.
Church reaching our Community
Ideally, I want St Johns to be a place where people feel safe and where they can explore the Christian faith and experience the positive difference that knowing Jesus makes. At its most basic level this means having the Church doors open as often as possible and ensuring a warm welcome when people visit, as well as reaching out into the community with initiatives such as the Town Centre Chaplaincy.
Since its reordering in 2008 - making it more of a flexible space - the Parish Church building has been used by a number of community groups to hold concerts, community and political events (hustings) and even a Tango group! We want local people to feel that it is a building for them -whoever they are. We still have a long way to go on this journey but we are making progress!
The Future – some thoughts and aspirations
Looking beyond the Churchyard, I really enjoy living in Beeston and being part of this cosmopolitan community. I think we are entering very challenging time economically as a result of Covid and Brexit.
· One of my concerns is for young people in our community. I think we need to see how we can provide facilities which meet their very diverse needs and help them to feel valued.
· We need to focus on regenerating our shopping centre as a place for recreation as well as economic activity.
· I meet people each week who feel isolated so I'm broadly in favour of any 'town planning' which helps to promote communication and social cohesion.
Some thoughts from Father Wayne Plimmer – Vicar of Beeston
St. Johns Beeston
26 March 2021
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