Church ready to lay down new foundations

A whole community is set to benefit from the building of a new centre in a Staffordshire town.

Adam Tilsley, Rod Lewis and Ivor Wiles
Adam Tilsley, Rod Lewis and Ivor Wiles

The new community centre, which will be next to Emmanuel New Life Church in Burntwood, is a project 10 years in the making for the church.

Pastor Rod Lewis talked about what the plan was for the new Burntwood Foodbank and community centre.

He said: "Essentially, it's going to be a multi-purpose community hub which will become a permanent home to the Emmanuel Foodbank that we have been running for 10 years.

"It will also see groups such as Slimming World and events such as children's parties and meeting places for older people take advantage of the facilities."

Pastor Lewis said the foodbank had operated for the last 10 years out of a portacabin at the rear of the church and the new facility, when built, would significantly increase the capability of the foodbank.

He said: "We have seen an increased number of people using our food bank, which has been run by teams of volunteers drawn from all the churches in the Burntwood area.

"They are doing an excellent job at the moment and the new hub will really help us to help more people through increased capacity.

Helpline

"I'm very excited about the prospects of this new facility, particularly after we were given planning permission to build the community hub.

"We've prepared a lot of work on the ground and we are looking to set the foundations to begin the building process."

They have also now launched a helpline which people can call if they need advice or just somebody to talk to following the trials and tribulations of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Pastor Lewis added: "Owing to the dreadful coronavirus pandemic many people are suffering with anxiety, fear and depression.

"Also, the loss of a job brings a lot of anxiety. And most of all, there might be the loss of a loved one and the grief people are going through at this time.

"Because of this, the Emmanuel Lifeline is open to offer any help and a prayer."

The number can be reached by calling 07949 315479 any morning between 9.30am and 11am.

The church is also reaching out to the community and to local businesses to help with donations towards the digging of the foundations, with £10,000 needed to cover the costs.

To find out more and to make a donation, email rodminister@hotmail.co.uk

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