Growing crops and church together

Pierremont Methodist Church in Darlington, County Durham has new and exciting plans that will nurture its church, community and mission; building on the success of its ‘Giving Garden’.

An Allchurches Trust grant enabled the church to pilot ‘The Giving Garden’ in March 2016 in an effort to transform an unused outside space owned by the church.

Pierremont Methodist now hosts two gardening sessions each week and supplies local residents with free fruit and vegetables from a stand outside the church. Local people with no previous engagement with the church are now regularly involved in the upkeep of the garden, and becoming part of church life.

The Giving Garden has also sparked creation of ‘The Pantry’, another church project where people can place and take non-perishable foods and come together to share a free community lunch every week.

After the success of the pilot project, Pierremont Methodist Church will soon be offering its community garden and pantry services to a new community; with planning underway to move the church into larger premises, allowing it and its garden more room to grow.

With the help of grants from Allchurches Trust, Pierremont Methodist Church will relocate to a nearby disused church, which will be renovated ready for the congregation to move in later this year. The new church is in an area of significant socio-economic deprivation and has been empty since closing its doors three years ago.

Work has already begun on getting the proposed new church’s garden up to standard, prior to the completion of building renovations. A garden poly-tunnel has been installed and raised beds established in an area of the church’s large car park to help bring the church back to life. Renovations are needed to the kitchen and toilets and the congregation want to further improve the building by installing a suitable sound system.

Pierremont Methodist Church is seeking to relocate its church into a more deprived area to create an “urban monastery – a place of prayer, worship, teaching, learning, community, healing, wholeness, hospitality and industry.”