Site Redevelopment: Imagine…

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Over the last 5 months we have prayed and listened to God to ask Him who is it He wants us to be as His Church here in Peckham and what is He calling us to partner with Him in.Next week we are interviewing four architects to select one to help us start to put some concrete ideas around our prayers and dreams in a feasibility study. As part of that an amazing group of people from the congregation have helped put together a draft brief, here is the introduction…. tell us what you think…

Imagine…

Imagine walking along Blenheim Grove and seeing people coming and going into a building that’s open 7 days a week where they are welcomed into a place to receive peace, practical support with their finances, physical and emotional healing.  By day the children come off the street and play in the front garden and by night light permeates onto the street to reveal a hive of activity.

Even before you enter off the street you can see into a space where people are enjoying coffee, chatting and others focusing their attention to God in worship and prayer.  Immediately you are welcomed through the doors into a space that feels transparent yet safe, a hub of activity where services from debt counselling, employment programmes, family support and prayer are available.  You step through the welcome area and you are struck by how all these activities are taking place all around you but with a place of worship as the focal point.  Your eyes naturally are lifted up and your thoughts turn to something greater than yourself.  Through the glass on the other side of the space you get a glimpse of a piece of nature, green and tranquil, a place of refreshment and peace.  There are places to sit and move away from the hustle and bustle of life, you look and listen as you find yourself feeling calm and at rest.

You notice your spirit lift with a tangible sense of joy as you hear the sound of children playing and singing as laughter fills the air from beyond the garden.  You sit and watch as people walk by and over time you notice how the heaviness people carry when they arrive is replaced with a smile as they leave.  As you move further into the site you become aware of the different types of people around you, not all the same but from different backgrounds and yet somehow connected together.  Like the different styles of building around you, yet connected to make one whole with a place of peace at the centre.

People walk by and greet you with a smile on their face and invite you to come and be part of what is happening.  You see spaces for young people to come and be accepted, supported and nurtured alongside a space where families gather to share stories and encourage one another.  Like a well planned home the kitchen plays a central role with delicious free food served most days and numerous events and parties taking place around the site.

As you step back out into the garden oasis you become aware of foot traffic moving along the side of the site from the street entrance to the car park beyond.  Many people walk on by but others stop, take time to sit and rest whilst others feel the warmth and welcome and decide to step inside.

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