Bishop Jonathan opens new community facilities at St John’s Hythe
Bishop Jonathan opens new community facilities at St John’s, Hythe
The Bishop of Southampton recently visited St John’s Church, Hythe to bless and dedicate a newly constructed kitchenette and multi-purpose room. The new facilities at the church are intended to help serve the community and are already being used by local charities and church groups.
The new multi-purpose, sound proofed room is being opened up to community groups who would otherwise have nowhere to hold counselling or drop-in sessions. It has been named the Jordan Room after the river in which St John, the patron saint of the church, baptised many people including Jesus. The room is next to the church’s font, where people are baptised and welcomed into the Christian Church to this day.
Construction of the Jordan Room was made possible with the help of Lottery funding worth £9,500, and the kitchenette was funded with an individual donation from a member of St John’s congregation. It provides space for the church to run services for the local community, such as parenting courses and other pastoral meetings, and the new facilities are also being used regularly by local community groups and charities. These include the Minstead Trust, which supports local people with learning disabilities and autism, a Dementia Drop-in service for people living with dementia and their carers, as well as the Waterside Churches Together Winter Night Shelter which helps homeless people to find temporary and permanent accommodation.
Speaking following the dedication service, the Right Reverend Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Southampton said:
“Jo and her team have done a wonderful job in transforming the capacity of the church to serve the community. I know St John's to be a place in which hospitality is offered and the life of faith shared. The new facilities are an excellent addition which will allow St John’s Hythe to do even more in its service to the local community."
Rev'd Jo Elvidge, Vicar of Hythe, said:
“We’re very grateful to the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the members of our congregation who gave so generously in order that this fantastic new room and kitchenette could be built. I especially want to thank the designer Neil Sanders who gave his services for free and the builder Martin Hall. I am really excited about what can be achieved with the new facilities and in partnership with local community groups. St John’s Hythe has always been a place of welcome for all and with our new Jordan Room we can extend that welcome even wider.”