Over the summer there has been a great deal of background planning work on THE HUB – St Luke’s proposed Community Centre and Café on Manor Field.

To demonstrate what a church working in the community on Manor Field might look like, Anthony Lount took the lead with a team from the church in staging a tremendous community BBQ on August Bank Holiday Saturday. Over 500 people came to the park for the day to see the Multi-Use Games Area officially opened, to learn more about THE HUB and enjoy free food, drinks and ice creams. We are setting THE HUB in the context of a wider study of Sports and Recreation in the village, in which we are closely involved. A by-product of this work has been the installation of the MUGA, using ‘developer contribution money’ (s106) from some time ago and which was about to expire.

in addition to individual contributions, the local Station Road Co-op donated the beef burgers and strawberries and cream and Hamilton Tesco donated the charcoal. The Parish Council funded a County Council Sports Activity Team, a WI team served tea and coffee and the Secretary of the local sport association (TABSASA) helped serve the ice creams. It was a great day and one that showcased the church, working in close partnership with its community.

To assist in meeting the cost of feasibility work on THE HUB, the Diocese Capital Fund has made a grant to the church of £5,000 being, we hope, the first part of a £250,000 capital bid. This is excellent and a great boost to the project. The Diocese advised us that funds for the larger sum would not, in any event, be available for several months. In the estimated total project cost of £1m we have already raised £150,000 from pledges towards a projected £250,000 required from fund raising.

The majority of our time during the summer has been around unscrambling historical property interests relating to Manor Field and the adjoining unkempt pastureland. We are working closely with the Parish and District Councils to resolve this, not just for THE HUB, but also for the village in the long term. It will get resolved – one way or another. If anyone wants to know more about the project please contact me on dchidd@btinternet.com

Take a look at all the photos from the day on our online album HERE.