Funding from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands will help Eldad Elim Church in St Peter Port to further fulfil its role in the life of the community.
Senior Pastor Reverend Eric Gaudion said he was excited about what the £10,000 grant would enable the congregation to achieve.
‘We are opening up these facilities to the community and we don’t want there to be any barriers to folk joining in. Activities currently include a Friday morning all-age community coffee drop-in, a monthly midweek seniors lunch, youth and children’s activities as well as the regular Sunday services and much more is being planned. Wheelchair access will also now be available, together with specially adapted toilet facilities, to folk attending weddings, funerals and other special events,’ he said.
To widen its community role, Eldad recently appointed a full-time youth pastor from the UK, Luke Seymour, to join its leadership team.
Following a successful application to the Foundation the church in Union Street has £10,000 to devote to improving access, not just for wheelchair users but also for parents with children in buggies who attend services and use other facilities. These include a schoolroom, lounge, kitchen and meeting areas.
Rev Gaudion said the church, which has been in Union Street since 1936, recognised the need to create ramps to give better access for the 100-strong congregation.
‘The name ‘Eldad’ is Hebrew for ‘one who is loved by God’ and the church leadership team want that love and acceptance to be extended to all comers, whatever their needs. The grant is also enabling us to achieve one of our core values to make the building accessible to all, irrespective of any physical or mental impairment,’ he said.
The Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands is legally independent of the Lloyds TSB Group and an independent board of trustees determines the policies. The Chairman of the local foundation is Jurat Stephen Jones and the Executive Director is John Hutchins.
Mr Hutchins said: ‘We were delighted to be in a position to help with this community project.’
The Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands has donated in excess of £12 million to charities in the Channel Islands, the UK and overseas since its inception in 1985. It is a grant-making trust that decides on and makes donations to charities in both bailiwicks. Its mission is to support and work in partnership with charitable organisations which help people, especially those who are disadvantaged or disabled, to play a fuller role in communities throughout the Channel Islands.