REV BRUCE DEANS: A church hall fit for the whole community to use

Rev Bruce Deans, vicar of St Johns, Fareham, with the Lord Mayor of Fareham at the community event to launch the new facilities in St Johns church hall
Rev Bruce Deans, vicar of St Johns, Fareham, with the Lord Mayor of Fareham at the community event to launch the new facilities in St Johns church hall
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Something that a vicar always feels grateful for is a decent church hall.

All vicars want to be able to offer local community groups a place to meet – whether that’s the local dancing groups, craft groups, lunch clubs, clubs and societies, or making the hall available for voting or for the blood donor service or for other groups run by the church itself like toddler groups, Children’s Church, Messy Church or the Youth Group.

It fits with our ideal of being at the heart of our local community and finding ways to serve local residents in the best possible way. Having a modern kitchen and better facilities is therefore vital.

So we were really grateful for a grant from Hampshire County Council to help us to renovate the hall at St John’s Church in Upper St Michael’s Grove over the summer.

The £50,000 project included a complete refurbishment of the hall floor, a total replacement of the main hall ceiling including brand new efficient lighting – and a full renovation of the hall kitchen to a commercial standard, including the installation of a commercial dishwasher.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the £25,000 grant we received from the county council, and the support from our MP Suella Fernandes and local councillors Dennis Steadman and Keith Barton.

Once that work had been completed, we opened our new hall with a community coffee morning with the proceeds going to a local charity, the Rainbow Centre.

It was a brilliant morning, attended by around 65 people including the Mayor and local councillors, during which we raised £235 for the

charity.

During the event, we stressed the importance of community and that we want to welcome as many people from the local area to make use of the facilities that we have.

We have some gaps in the regular weekly schedule, and we can also accommodate one-off events like birthday parties or receptions after weddings or baptisms in church. Just get in touch if you are interested.

As a church we continue to look forward to welcoming you into our newly-refurbished hall for all the clubs, groups and events that already happen there – and any new activities you might want to launch.

St John’s Church is in Upper St Michael’s Grove, Fareham. To contact the parish office call 01329 280762 or go to stjohnsfareham.org.uk.