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Dursley Tabernacle: the Parsonage Project youth centre

The Church’s decision to prioritise youth and community work by appointing a paid Youth Worker led to the establishing of a Family Café in the Church Sanctuary and grew into a vision to transform some of its decaying buildings into a new Youth Centre for the town.

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Dursley Tabernacle: the Parsonage Project youth centre

  1. 1. The Parsonage Project: A Youth Centre at Dursley Tabernacle URC.
  2. 2. URC Vision 2020 Statement 4: Community Partnerships ‘We will be a Church that is more active in the life of local neighbourhoods’.
  3. 3. The Tab’s story is a tale of: • decay and despair • audacious vision • stepping out in faith • community partnerships • massive change • new hope
  4. 4. Tab Timeline: 2010 Vision 2020 statement – focus on Youth Work. Church Youth Worker Appointed 2011 Parsonage declared unfit for purpose as minister’s residence. 2012 Entered in to Partnership with Town Council. Parsonage vacated. 2013 Public Consultation. Planning Permission obtained. Development Worker Appointed. 2014 Construction Phase 2015 Youth Centre opened to the public. 2016 Phase Two…?
  5. 5. What it cost: In reality The Vibe has cost the church about £100K and the Town Council have invested at least £300K. A rough calculation suggests the Tab has invested at least a thousand volunteer hours a year in this work, plus all the paid efforts of the Tab Youth Worker and Development Worker. Funds for the church share of the costs have come from a range of sources large and small. The support of the West Midlands Synod Mission Fund to finance Youth Worker and Development Worker roles, as well as a capital grant, has been significant.
  6. 6. What it delivered: • A fantastic space for our own church youth work making our young people feel valued. • A community resource which has transformed community youth work in the town and, now staffed entirely by Christian Youth Workers, is reaching large numbers of young people who do not usually cross the threshold of a managed space. • New partnerships and new potential for investment and future projects.
  7. 7. Why did it work? • Prayer and consultation each step of the way. • Teamwork and new partnerships. • A willingness to think about what the community needed and not what the church wanted. • A willingness to take risks & step out in faith. • An insistence that the faith journey of the church was not neglected along the way.