28 Apr 2017 • General News
A new Place of Welcome has opened at Lichfield’s Curborough Community Centre, bringing the total number nationally to over 150.
Places of Welcome is a network of small community organisations, including faith communities, who offer an unconditional welcome to local people for at least a few hours a week.
The latest Place of Welcome, run by volunteers from St Chad’s Church on Tuesday mornings from 10.30 to 12noon at Curborough Community Centre. It’s the fourth to open in Lichfield District - the others are in Fradley, Handsacre and at Wade Street Church in Lichfield city centre.
More are coming soon, thanks to funding from Churches Together in Lichfield and support from Transforming Communities Together, a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of Lichfield.
Places of Welcome is a grassroots movement that began in Birmingham. It seeks to help people to connect, belong and contribute to the community they are living in. Its five values ensure that each venue is open at the same time and place every week and is welcoming to anyone wanting to attend. At each venue, people can also get free tea, coffee and biscuits.
Transforming Communities Together Chair, Rev Dr David Primrose explains: “We’re delighted to have Places of Welcome now across Lichfield Diocese in Staffordshire and the Black Country. It’s fantastic to have mosques, libraries and community centres, as well as churches involved, as we work towards our vision of every community having a Place of Welcome.”
St Chad’s volunteer Jean Geobey said: “From the very beginning when the idea of Places of Welcome was first suggested it seemed to capture the imagination of people in our church, so much so that we had over 16 people volunteer almost immediately! Places of Welcome has no agenda, other than to offer hospitality, a listening ear, a friendly face and to hopefully to build relationships in the northern area of our city.”
Rick Hill, from Churches Together In Lichfield, added: “This is simply about providing a place where people feel loved, accepted and can get help if they need it.”