Tackling loneliness in Aylesbury

Work will start soon on a new community coffee bar that will help tackle loneliness and social isolation in Aylesbury

An Allchurches Trust grant has helped the church to reach its £105,000 fundraising project, along with support from the local congregation, the Methodist Church’s Connexional Grants Committee (CGC) and WREN.

Aylesbury Methodist Church’s ‘Welcome Project’ will provide an attractive, fully accessible, meeting place in the town centre, offering a warm welcome, simple refreshment and a listening ear through the refurbishment of the church entrance and coffee bar. A folding glass screen will also increase the flexibility of use, offering the potential to use the church more creatively, including for art exhibitions and school choirs.

Aylesbury Methodists is an active, inclusive town centre church and its newly-refurbished community centre has nine meeting venues used by more than 90 church, charity and community groups. The need for the ‘Welcome Project’ was identified through a Healthy Churches review, involving over 100 questionnaires and discussion by church members.

This project will not only improve the appearance of the front of the church and coffee bar; it will enable the church to increase its outreach and enrich the lives of many more people within the town centre and wider communities.

Allchurches Trust Grants Officer, Jeremy Noles, said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to offer our support to this project, which will provide a warm and welcoming place for the whole community to come together and someone to listen for those who need it.

“We were particularly impressed with Aylesbury Methodists’ plans to reach out to those who may be feeling isolated or who are struggling within the local area and enable them to connect both with each other in the church space and with the wider world through free internet access.”

The church is hoping to appoint a contractor by the end of November with work starting early in January to be completed by Easter 2019.

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