The United Reformed Church, which can be found in the High Street of Hampton Hill, has for a long time provided the local people with a good place to worship on a Sunday. However, unknown to most, it has also been working to provide those in the community with the love and support that they need, alongside helping improve the education of the local children. At the moment, roughly 30 people attend the church on Sundays for the weekly sermon.
However, the church is not only active on Sundays. After all, its goal is to provide people with love and support, something which must be provided throughout the week and not just on a Sunday. As a result of a general decline in the number of church-attending Christians, the church has been attempting to shift its events and meetings away from religion. This has resulted in a multitude of different activities being done by the church on a weekly basis.
These include Brownies and Rainbows, both of whom come on Monday night, as well as a group called 12 Steps, who help men and women linked to substance abuse recover from their addictions, who gather on a Tuesday night. On Tuesday mornings, they have 46 families that come together, and there is even a five day a week nursery in the building next to the church, which they own. Overall, it provides the people in the community with a place of belonging and welcoming, something which would be hard to find in other places in the area.
However, despite the many things going on now, the church has even more activities and events planned. There are talks of having a group of local amateur writers meeting weekly to discuss their work, something which will help encourage writing in all people, from young to old. But, most importantly, there are plans to set up a youth group to help with the volunteering and other important activities. In preparation for this, numerous plug sockets and even Wi-Fi have been set up in the church, in order to provide the needs of the young people involved in these projects. This is mainly all being done to encourage the youth to join, something which the church has been finding very hard, in comparison to other churches in the area.
Therefore, it is shocking to discover that the church is made up of entirely volunteers except for 3 paid members, and completely relies on donations by its 30 members to pay for the annual cost of £45,000. Despite this, what remains at the bottom of the hearts of all those involved with the church is to help people in need, a type of person hard to identify at first. John, a member of the church whom I interviewed, said that “In this community, middle class people like me who’ve got older and aren’t used to being helped by other people are quite lonely. Just having those doors open so that when you stand outside someone can just say come in is really important for those living in the area.”
In conclusion, the United Reformed Church is very important for the community and does a lot of things unrelated from Christianity that helps those in unfortunate places who truly need help.