Northampton church’s big plans for community wellbeing cafe following Government grant

It is hoped the church will become a ‘community hub’ for all to enjoy

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 9:05 am
St Edmund's Church, Hardingstone.

A Northampton church which has been awarded a grant from a Government fund has big plans for the coming months.

St Edmund’s Church in High Street, Hardingstone will receive £9,000 from the Cultural Recovery Fund after a successful application was submitted, in the nick of time.

The money will help to improve accessibility of the heritage of the church, as well help to create a wellbeing cafe, which the church hopes will encourage wider participation.

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Hilary Wilson, treasurer of St Edmund’s said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the grant. It is going to be a big help for us.

“We have been planning on making changes to the church for four or five years now to help make it more accessible to the community and develop a new income.

“We have a really good history at the church with strong connections to Delapre Abbey so we want to develop the interpretation of that too, which the money from the Culture Recovery Fund will go towards.

“Some of the money will also help to open up a community cafe that we plan to open next month, mainly for friends and neighbours.

“The cafe will offer a range of activities, such as mindful activities, specifically to encourage wider participation and community cohesion.”

Hilary and the team were not aware that churches were able to apply for the grant until three weeks before the deadline.

In less than a month, they had to submit a 3,000 word application, which Hilary says was a lengthy process, but it was clearly worth the hard work.

Hilary added: “We’re hoping the changes we can make with the money will encourage more people to come in and use the building and the beautiful church yard.

“We also have a wildlife project, which has boomed in lockdown.

“We want it all to become a community hub, which in turn will hopefully mean people care about the church and we can increase our income and get a new vicar, as we are currently without a vicar.”

The church will also benefit from small grants provided by local authorities to support the wellbeing cafe.

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