St. Philip’s Church, Jenkins Street
Transforming Community, Transforming a Church
Dear Friends …
St. Philip’s Church wants to hear your thoughts, and hopes for your community and our service to it. We are hosting two public meetings — on 16 March at 7:30 pm & 23 March at 5:30 pm — to discuss with the local residents our plans for regenerating the hands-on work we do in partnership with the wider Lliswerry community.
Sitting on Jenkins Street, across from St. Andrew’s School, St. Philip’s Church was purpose-built in the 1920s as a community resource, even before it was licensed as a church premises. Service lies at the heart of our mission. For years, we had a thriving congregation, and the building remains well loved. Sadly, though, in recent years, we have struggled against decline which has taken us right to the brink of closure. (Indeed, in a survey, many local people said they already thought it was closed!)
We, the people and clergy of St. Philip’s, are determined not to become simply the next casualty in the ever-growing list of dying community resources. We’d rather turn our situation around, from ground zero, by recapturing our original vision: service, hospitality, and relationship-building amongst the people of Lliswerry. But we can’t do it alone.
We have at St. Philip’s two large, open spaces which can be valuable resources for a part of Newport that has few left, and we are inviting you to come, see, and use them. This is not an attempt to throw religion at you. We hope only that our common effort can breathe new life into a space designed for supporting the real lives of the real people around us.
Our ideas include: space for mother & toddler groups, after-school clubs, a community café, classes or clubs (such as yoga, martial arts, or U3A groups), community support groups, community gardening. The possibilities are limited only to our imaginations, and we hope you will want to imagine with us.
We have already invested in hiring an on-site person to join our clergy and people in building better relationships in the community. This next year we’ll also seek significant grant-funding to renew our building and create modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for our redevelopment as a community centre. We’d like a chance to tell you about our hopes — and to listen to yours — so that together we may make good things happen here.
William Ingle-Gillis (priest-in-charge)
Linda Batt (focal minister for Lliswerry)