Church builds care centre
We are seeing something thrilling happening next to Bethesda Evangelical Church, Weston-super-Mare. For more than 13 years a number of us have been praying and working to build a care centre on the Bournville Estate, and now, at last, brick is being laid on brick and a building is taking shape.
Some of you may have heard of Bournville. Unfortunately, it is the ugly behaviour of some of its residents that has brought it into the national news. Like many council estates in Britain, it is blighted by severe deprivation among children, criminality, drug addiction, alcohol addiction and a high incidence of mental illness.
Our church has been in the middle of this estate for 50 years. During the past 15, under the leadership of David Farley, we have realised that there must be compassion and practical help for the needy as a springboard to proclaiming the gospel.
David and Irène Farley, with a group of like-minded people, have for the past 13 years been raising funds. In the meantime, Bethesda has faithfully proclaimed the gospel and worked among the people, and we have seen some saved.
Now, having raised over £440,000 through the generosity of God’s people, the care centre is being built. When we began saving, that sum of money would have paid for one and a half such centres, but rising costs mean we can only pay for the building shell. We are looking to the Lord to enable us to complete the project.
When finished, the centre will have a hall that can be split in two – one half for a day nursery and the other for a parent and toddler group, alternating with an elderly person’s luncheon club.
The building will have the necessary ancillary rooms for the nursery, plus a kitchen, meeting room, bathroom, office, outlet for donated goods, workshop for teaching practical skills, and accommodation for a caretaker and his wife.
Additionally, there will be space for emergency accommodation should it be needed. Making full use of these facilities will mean employing staff – at least, a manager and nursery nurse – and looking for several volunteers.
This project seems such a big undertaking, but each step of the way God has led and provided. We continue to trust him for the steps that lie ahead, our sole desire being that his name should be glorified.