The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Church joins school in new community hall plan

OakGroveNewHall0001A Norwich church has joined in partnership with the local authority in an innovative scheme which plans to build a large new community hall with a contribution towards the cost of around £350,000.
Oak Grove Chapel in Catton Grove will be working alongside the new Catton Grove primary school in seeking to develop a 300-seater community hall as part of the new school site. It also plans to renovate its existing chapel building and enlarge its successful charity shop.
The new community hall would be used as a sports hall by the school during the week and the Chapel at the weekend for its activities. It will also be available to be used by other community groups.
Following the government’s new plans for junior school education, in September 2007 the Catton Grove First and Middle schools will be combined into one Primary school.
Meanwhile, over the last few years the congregation at Oak Grove Chapel has grown in numbers so much that they have already held two Sunday morning services for several years and now need a bigger building to accommodate everyone.
Oak Grove senior leader, Ian Savory, said: “This building project is another step forward in our relationship with schools and the community in that we partner together for the benefit of the whole area. This is incarnation, bringing out the God flavours of the earth.”
Oak Grove’s financial contribution will mean that the school and community has a larger hall than they would otherwise get, furnished with a large stage area, PA, lighting facilities and storage areas to accommodate up to 300 people. It will be the largest such venue in the area.
“This project is about partnership between the school, chapel and other groups,” said Ian. “It will give us a venue that can benefit the whole community. The Chapel has been working in this area for 70 years and as such has been proud to be a part of the community, looking at various local issues and encouraging people to also be a part of the wider world. This venue is the next step for us as we grow as a community in confidence and abilities.”
The Chapel has worked with the local schools for a number of years taking assemblies, running after-school football clubs and taking some lessons.
The Oak Grove Trust also plans to renovate the existing Chapel building to the tune of £10,000 and to enlarge its successful charity shop next door at a cost of around £24,000.
The Trust is already working hard with fund-raising activities and events organised through this year. It will be applying for grants and gifts from various funds and charities as well as holding sales, auctions, concerts, sponsored activities such as sponsor a brick for £10, a 100-mile cycle ride, publishing a recipe book and gift days. It is also appealing to its members to back the initiative and already some £30,000 has been raised.
The next fund-raising event will be a classical concert on Friday June 23, at 7.30pm. Cheese and wine and an auction of talents are included and tickets cost £5 (£4 concessions) from 01603 403388 or 70, Catton Grove Road, NR3 3NT.


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