The New Bevan Church has been the home of The Barnet Christian Fellowship for the last 18 years, and, as well as Sunday Worship and prayer meetings, also provides a vital senior citizen's lunch club, a children's after-school club with meal, all free, a mother and toddler club and a weekly keep-fit class.
For many of the senior citizens, mostly widows and widowers, some of whom are aged 80+ or have reduced mobility, the club is the only time they leave the house or have anyone to talk to and they are all distraught at the thought of losing this lifeline as it will have a impact on their quality of life.
As well as giving the senior citizens somewhere to go and socialize, they themselves put something back into the community by filling shoeboxes with toys and gifts to give to nominated needy children in the community at Christmas. They also fill "baby gift boxes" with baby clothes, baby food, feeding bottles, nappies etc for distribution to nominated local mothers in need.
Many of the children who attend the children's clubs, Going Bananas and Gold Diggers, are from low income or one parent families, and after school, they just hang around on the streets, where they are in danger of getting involved in petty crime or of falling victim to crime themselves. They have no outside space to play at home as many of them live in flats. The children's clubs provide them with a safe place to be after school and help to give them a sense of direction and self-esteem with bible based activities and games. Volunteers at the church prepare and serve the children an evening meal, which is free of charge.
During the school summer holidays, activities are arranged for the children at the church.
The owners of the church want to sell the church to buyers who do not intend to use it for the benefit if the community, which would be a disaster for the local residents as it is the symbolic hub of the community, and Bevan Church is now the only community facility on the Bevan Estate.
We therefore desperately need to raise the funds to buy the church on behalf of the local residents so that they can continue to enjoy these facilities. We also plan to introduce a weekly drop-in session to provide letter writing and form-filling assistance for any local residents who have literacy difficulties.
All donations will be transferred to Community Action Matters CIC (Company number 11947368) which is a community interest company, set up specifically to purchase the church on behalf of the local community. Once purchased, the church will be leased to the Barnet Christian Fellowship.