St Saviour’s Sunbury works with the poorest and most marginalised people in our community, showing them love, care and concern through both spiritual and emotional support and practical action to aid both short-term and long-term recovery. One of our aims is to end poverty permanently in Sunbury. We currently do this in many ways;
- We have a large and busy foodbank giving food to people in need and helping people back on their feet through working with other agencies and courses we run ourselves.
- We run a weekly free community lunch where more than 120 people come and eat lunch together – we have people who are homeless, mums and toddlers, older people who haven’t eaten a meal with another human all week, lonely people and many more attending the lunch.
- We run a host of courses within our church that support people in the transformation of their lives, whether that is through our community recovery programme (including detox and supported by local NHS providers), or programmes teaching life skills such as money management, stop smoking and computing.
We love our community, and we want everyone in Sunbury to know that they can come to us for help, support, and friendship. Our goal is to support everyone who walks through our door whether their needs are physical, spiritual, or both.
Although we are doing everything we can to support everyone who needs our help, our church, which was built in 1912, was designed for a different time. The building now makes it increasingly difficult for us to be the inclusive place of welcome, refuge and support that we want to be to the whole of society. As the number of people we support grows, the more our ageing and inadequate facilities hold us back in our mission.
The building is not as accessible as we would like it to be, as we would like to be fully inclusive for people with disabilities. Over the years various temporary additions and modifications have been made to improve the facilities (such as toilets in temporary buildings next to the church), but these are now coming to the end of their working life, and are causing increasing maintenance issues.
We do not have enough storage for the foodbank, and we do not have a proper kitchen so we cannot serve hot food. For some of the people who come to our community lunch, this is the only full meal they will eat that week. In the winter months, it is particularly vital that we can serve these people a healthy, hot meal.
Our bathroom facilities are unsuitable for the elderly, the infirm or people with disabilities. It is imperative that we rectify this for us to continue to be an inclusive centre of the community.
Extending the Church
To solve these problems, we will be undertaking a massive extension to our church including creating a new community café in the foyer which will be open daily, adding proper storage facilities for the foodbank and creating a brand-new kitchen that can do 100 plus hot lunches at once and provide a place to teach foodbank clients how to prepare nutritious meals on a budget.
We will also be building new bathrooms, adding a mezzanine floor with meeting rooms, and extending the church so that it reaches the street and includes not only the new foyer (housing the community café) but a rain shelter for all the people who use the bus stop right outside our church.
To help support the small businesses in our community the mezzanine floor will have four private rooms which can be used by people who need a private space for meetings and presentations.
The Food Bank will have enough proper storage so that we never run out of food and have to turn people in need away. We will expand our existing toy library, saving parents from having to purchase expensive toys that children will soon get bored of.
We started actively fundraising for this project in April 2017, hoping to complete the fundraising by the summer of 2018, with building work completed by the summer of 2019. However, the outpouring of local support, including very active support from our local MP and the local council has meant that the project is moving faster than we could ever have imagined.
In total the project will cost £2.1m, of which we have now secured £1.1m in cash and gifts in kind, so we now only need to raise another £1m to start building work.
If you would like to raise funds for The Big Build project please use the contact form to get in touch to find out more. If you would like to download an information sheet about The Big Build to help promote the project to potential sponsors, a PDF download is available below.
Big Build NewsStay up to date with our building project
We just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been fundraising for The Big Build.
The project is moving more quickly than we had ever expected. We have had some amazing offers of support from local businesses and the local community.
We have had an amazing meeting with the Diocese, who have expressed their full support for the project, and offered to support it with a loan if we need it.