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Big Lottery Fund grant for better community facilities in Plaistow

News release  22 March 2011

Memorial Community Church has been awarded a grant of £76,490 from the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme. This is to improve the community facilities at the Welcome Centre at the back of the building, so new activities can take place there.

At the moment the lack of heating and really old toilets mean that the available space – which includes a large meeting room with kitchen and outdoor space, a crèche, and an IT suite equipped with eight computers - are not used nearly as much as they could be. New heating and toilets will mean there’ll be a much warmer welcome for everyone.

The church has also been given a grant of £50,000 from City Bridge Trust towards making this part of the building more welcoming to all, including wheelchair users, with a ramp, new doorways and an accessible toilet.

People who meet in the Memorial building at the moment include the Bridges project for homeless people, the We Are Family group for young parents run by local charity Alternatives, the Plus Centre IT training on a Saturday evening and a weekly drop-in at the Welcome Centre on Thursdays.

Once the building improvements are carried out this summer, the plan is to work together with these and other groups to launch new activities including training in computer skills, exercise classes and healthy eating sessions. The grant from the Big Lottery Fund also pays for the part-time salary of a member of staff to manage the project and includes money to train new exercise instructors.

Rev Mark Janes the minister of the church, says, “the people who built the church in the 1920s built it big enough not just for Sunday worship but for all kinds of educational and social activities as well. Bringing the facilities up to modern standards will mean it can be used for fun and useful things that bring people together and improve the quality of life for local people in our neighbourhood. ”

The church has also been awarded other grants to repair the bell tower and restore the Memorial Bells. If they manage to raise all the rest of the funds they need, it’s going to be a busy year.

For more information please ring 020 7474 6603, email Philippa King, development manager at or visit the website

Posted Tuesday 5th April 2011 by Philippa King

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Get in touch

The Welcome Centre is open Wednesdays 10.30 am – 12 and Thursdays 2 – 4 pm. Please feel free to drop in for a chat.

At other times, contact the church office on:

020 7474 6603