​Allchurches’ April small grants are supporting projects of passion, hope and joy

This month Allchurches Trust donated £291,325 to 86 churches, charities and schools throughout the UK and Ireland for projects that build communities and transform people’s lives.

The Table at Christ Church is a project to breathe new life into a beautiful, unique church building in the heart of Gloucester, by focusing on food, community and celebration.

The church currently has a small congregation but has been working with a community of refugees and asylum seekers, World Café, to re-imagine church as a ‘give as you can’ restaurant located at Christ Church. The vision is to bring people together from different backgrounds over shared meals, regardless of their means to pay, and it already has local support and offers of help in many forms.

Allchurches Trust has contributed £5,000 for initial works to the Grade II listed church to overcome the effects of movement, damp and rot over decades, required before the project can get underway.

Every now and then, a funding request comes along that makes the Allchurches grant officers smile. The restoration of a historically and economically important 25ft high pyramid in the graveyard of St Thomas a Becket Church in Brightling, East Sussex, is just one of those projects.

‘Mad Jack’ Fuller’s tomb - built in 1811, 23 years before the Philanthropic village squire and Member of Parliament died - in the churchyard of this Grade I listed village church, has become an important local focus and tourist attraction for the village of Brightling.

Until it was sadly proven untrue in 1982, the story went that ‘Mad Jack’ was interred in the tomb in his top hat, seated at a dining table with a chicken supper and a bottle of good claret before him.

The tomb has begun to crumble and Allchurches is supporting its restoration to prevent it falling into dangerous ruin - an event that would negatively impact the village community and church.

Dreamscheme in Belfast has been helping young people from deprived communities to reach their full potential through transformational change for 14 years, via established relationships with local schools, churches, councils and the police.

Allchurches is purchasing equipment for its new project, Hope for Young People, which will see a team of four Christian youth workers providing 12 weeks of individual and group mentoring to 30 vulnerable young people growing up in South and East Belfast. Mentors will use the ‘Outcomes Star’ mentoring tool to empower the young people to take ownership of their own journey of growth.

Dreamscheme, BelfastDreamscheme, Belfast