New ‘hope’ for an old granary

04 MAR 2021

A £40,000 grant from Allchurches Trust is helping to transform a former granary in Worcester into a vibrant church and community facility.

Hope Church, Worcester is a dynamic, growing church with a passion to change lives and strengthen communities. The church is undertaking its biggest project to date, with a complete overhaul of the old granary in the city centre.
 
With support from Allchurches’ funding, Hope Church will turn the historic, four storey building into a base for the church and a community space where people from a diverse range of backgrounds can come together. This will enable local people to enjoy a wide variety of different social, business and cultural activities that will help the vulnerable, build community and enrich culture in the city, as well as preserving and showcasing the area and the building’s significant industrial heritage.
 
Building Progress
 
It’s an exciting time for the church as the new base becomes a reality. Most of the external structure is in place, including:
 
• The repair and refit of all the beams.
• A new slate roof.
• New exterior doors with lights.
• The replacement of all the window sills with reconstituted stone and 53 heritage windows.
• Repointing of exterior walls.
• Gutters and non-opening upper windows pigeon proofed.
 
Building Work: Next Steps 
 
The end is in sight for the major works on the exterior and ground floor, and the church is now considering cost saving by managing the upper floors’ fit out.
During the pandemic, Jim Harper - one of Hope Church’s pastors and a former plumber and builder - has put down pastoral work four days a week to pick up his tools again to work on The Granary and support volunteers to help out on site. 
 
Where possible the church is involving volunteers and members of the congregation to help with some works, not only will this help reduce building costs but also bring the community together and develop a greater sense of ownership of the building.
Diggers at work on the interior of the old granary building
Congregations and COVID-19
 
Encounter Congregation will be the first to move into the ground floor of The Granary, as they work with vulnerable people and have been designated as a vital support group during this challenging time.
 
The church’s services have continued online during the pandemic, including ‘tea and coffee’ meetings on a Sunday morning, and children and adult breakout groups. Similarly, Hope Church’s community groups have been meeting virtually. ‘Hope Dines Green’ has been providing practical COVID support for the community, such as replacing kitchen appliances for vulnerable families and delivering food parcels and craft packs.
 
Community support goes beyond Worcester and even the UK, with the church continuing to help others internationally who have been affected by the virus, even assisting with the cost of medicines for a hospital and clinic near Kampla.
 
Richard Thomas, Team Leader for Hope Church, said: “Whilst it has been a trying time, the church has remained resilient and positive, and it is encouraging to see our new building taking shape after four years of hard work. We remain unswerving in our faith and efforts to ensure The Granary will function as our church base and serve the city.”
Christmas at Hope Church's new base
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