Wivenhoe Church Picks Up National Award09 June 2018
Wivenhoe Congregational Church has been awarded a £2,000 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Serving the Community Awards.
Sue Williams and Debbie Taylor, received the award on behalf of the church at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Islington, London on Saturday 9 June. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational Insurance, recognise the efforts of churches that use the energy, commitment and skills of church members and volunteers to establish and maintain social initiatives within their local community.
By offering a warm welcome and providing its centrally located premises for the benefit of the local community, Wivenhoe Congregational Church provides a wide range of activities and services. Regular events like “Welcome Point” held most Thursday lunchtimes is open not just to church members and their friends but anyone in Wivenhoe and the surrounding areas, to meet chat and have a light lunch. Information about accessing free advice and services is also available for those in need including English lessons; and you can pick up details on several music and social events which take place regularly throughout the year.
Sue Williams, Church Secretary said, “We are delighted and excited to have been selected to win a ‘Serving the Community Award’. This is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of everyone at the Church who go out of their way to offer support to our local community. The prize fund is very unexpected and will allow us to improve our facilities and strengthen the services we provide to those around us”.
A weekly foodbank service run by a group of over 30 volunteers from the local area now operates from the church premises and provides much-needed food to individuals and families, who due to unforeseen circumstances, find themselves in financial difficulty. For over 5 years now the church has also worked with the town council and provides its premises and a café facility in support of the local farmers market every month and this has proved to be very successful.
Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational Insurance, commented: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives that really make a difference and unite people. I feel Wivenhoe Congregational Church has embraced some local challenges and provides much needed services, friendship and social interaction for many across age, gender and cultural divides.”
Yvonne Campbell General Secretary of the Congregational Federation commented: “The standard of nominations for this year’s awards was again extremely high, and each of the 3 churches that received an award today have made a real impact in their local area by responding directly to community need and providing services that otherwise would not have been available. We are absolutely delighted that so much impressive work has grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide Wivenhoe Congregational Church with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within their community.”
To view short films of this year’s award winners, visit https://youtu.be/sLcdF1Cy8rI