September 25th, 2016

‘You don’t have to be religious to come here’ – Redditch Ecumenical Centre turns 40

Updated: 11:25 am, Jul 01, 2016

FOUR decades of playing a central part in the Redditch community were celebrated on Friday as the Ecumenical Centre in Evesham Walk held an open day.

For many it’s just an anonymous doorway but inside and up the stairs it’s not only home to the combined Emmanuel Church and United Reformed Methodist Church, but a lively community hub that welcomes people of all faiths and no faith.

Guests of honour on the day included local MP Karen Lumley and borough Mayor Councillor Joe Baker, who met users and saw the facilities for themselves.

These include Night Stop, the charity for the young homeless, Victim Support, the Radiate Redditch Christmas Hub, Redditch Child Contact Centre and more.

On the day the services present included Redditch Older People’s Forum which offers help to those aged 55 and over, ensuring the voice of the borough’s senior citizens is heard at a local and national level. They meet on the second Thursday of each month at 10am at the Ecumenical Centre.

West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre finds Redditch one of its busier towns in the Force area. The service’s Laura Hallam said: “We are supporting quite a number of cases here in Redditch.

“Most people come to us through the police and we’re here on an ad hoc basis as we can use the consulting rooms to meet clients.”

They an be contacted on 01905 724514. In an emergency, ring 999.

The Living Well Service offers health and lifestyle advice and is at the centre every month. “We’re a free service helping people to live better, healthier lives,” said spokeswoman Helen Kendrick. “We can also show people how to cook on a budget with confidence, and if they are really lacking in confidence we will go with them to help.” They can be contacted on 01905 675850.

Also there was Carers Careline, a Redditch charity of 28 years which offers a wide range of support for those caring for a loved one.

“There are hundreds of people out there caring for someone, often without realising they are carers,” said chief officer Fiona Mitchell. “We can offer support both formally and informally, help with form filling, organise activities and breaks as well as bereavement support.”

Carers Careline can be contacted on 01527 66177.

The Reverend Stephen Levett of Emmanuel Church said: “I think they were quite visionary when they built this place. For 40 years this has been a place for the community to gather and to seek advice and this is because it was developed not just to be where a church can meet.

“It offers a welcome to people of all faiths and none, it give groups and opportunity to meet, it’s a multi-functional centre where people can pop in for a cuppa or a prayer or both – you don’t have to be religious to come here.”