A ‘Brig Build’ for a West Yorkshire Methodist church
31 MAR 2021
£90,000 from Allchurches’ Methodist Grants Programme is supporting Brighouse Central Methodist Church to create a community hub within its redeveloped buildings, with a vision to make the church the heart of Brighouse.
‘The Brig Build’ project run by Brighouse Central Methodist Church (BCMC), and in partnership with others, will involve development of the main sanctuary, school building and the link building that connects them, plus improved accessibility and space throughout.
The Brig Build will be a place where the church can support local community groups and organisations to provide advice and services in a safe space, with areas for community-based activities. BCMC will also partner with a number of services to directly increase support available for those in need.
Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support BCMC with this grant. The church has been reinvigorated over the past few years and it’s clear the buildings aren’t fit for purpose any more and are ‘creaking’ under their efforts.”
New vision leads to remarkable change
In 1981, four Methodist churches in West Yorkshire amalgamated to become Brighouse Central Methodist Church. Until 2013, the church was inward-looking and hardly used by most people in town. That changed forever after 150 church members came together for vision exercises to put BCMC at the heart of its community, with a focus on wellbeing, partnering with others, and young people.
Since then, BCMC has achieved everything it hoped to, including employment of a youth worker, an intern programme, establishing a foodbank, free lunches and community café; plus growing its own self-funding music academy and community choir..
Michael Roughton, member of The Brig Build Team, said: “We began when the town held market weekends. We just threw our doors open, served great food at low prices, and invited people to use our toilets. Suddenly, we had 1,500 people coming into church on those weekends. Our now-famous Nativity Parade at Christmas, with real donkeys and camels, is an absolute hit and hundreds fill the church to share the miracle and joy of Christmas at no cost.
“Covid-19 hasn’t helped us, but it hasn’t harmed the project or our church either. We’ve selected our Events Partner and recently received Planning Approval to commence building works. Our first Annual Concert Programme launches in Spring 2021 and we’ve been developing partnerships with other organisations. We see nothing but an exciting and positive future for The Brig Build and Brighouse in the years ahead.”