St John's is the parish church of Broadstone, near Poole. We are a lively and welcoming community, seeking to share an inclusive vision of friendship and service at the heart of the borough. We already have strong links with the community – our parish hall is fully booked with a local pre-school and various other community groups; and we are privileged to host the Broadstone Music Series, a music school run by members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for young musicians. But with ever more groups asking for space, our buildings need to expand in order to accommodate our growing vision for community in Broadstone. That's where NorthReach comes in.
NorthReach is a response both to our own need for more space, and a community forum which identified the need for more community rooms in Broadstone. Drawing on the expertise of Morgan Carey Architects, we plan to extend the north side of the church, which lies directly opposite a local primary school and busy road. Two new meeting rooms will allow different groups to use the space at the same time, whilst a new parish office beside the fully accessible entrance will enable us to keep the main building open throughout the week, offering a place where people can either find a moment of peace in the middle of the day, or a connection with local art and history. Meanwhile, a large grass roof and freshly landscaped grounds will help us to welcome birds, insects and plants, bringing us one step closer to becoming an acredited eco-church. NorthReach's centrepiece, however, is the large glazed atrium and kitchen which will run along the church's north wall, leading into the existing building through a pair of new, transparent doors. Our vision is of a flexible, generous space for the wider community, capable of hosting exhibitions, concerts, after-school clubs, coffee mornings for carers, a dementia choir, and who knows what besides. Our main hope is to welcome and celebrate people of all ages, from all walks of Broadstone's life. And of course, you cannot celebrate people without also celebrating food!
We are planning to build the main structure of NorthReach using an earmarked outreach fund, in combination with successful grant applications and generous community donations. Through AVIVA, we are hoping to raise £10,000 in order to fit out the new kitchen at NorthReach. Food is right at the heart of our vision, and so the new kitchen is right at the centre of the extension. Using the new kitchen, we hope to extend the monthly Sunday lunch club which already runs from our much smaller parish hall facilities, providing food and friendship for people who live alone in the area. It will also allow the Broadstone Music Series to expand the concerts which already take place at St John's in order to showcase the talent of young musicians. More broadly, we hope the kitchen will provide a focal point for groups of all ages and sizes who will come to use NorthReach, whilst also helping us to realise our vision of launching an annual Broadstone food festival, celebrating local producers of food, drink, and music. We truly believe there is no better way to nourish a sense of community than by feeding people, and your donations will help us to do both with joy!