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BLACKBURN: Efforts rewarded

15 November 2011

by Margaret Duggan

FOR three years, members of the congregation at St Catherine’s, Burnley, have been fund-raising by every means they can think of: sponsored walks, quiz nights, dances, singalongs, parties, and many other bright ideas. In a far-from-well-off area, they have raised £30,000. They are thrilled that the amount has been matched and doubled by the Blackburn diocese through its New Opportunities Fund.

The aim is to replace the 1966 dilapidated prefabricated building with a new parish community centre for use by the many groups who currently use the run-down structure. They include a drop-in club for the homeless, a gentle exercise group, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Association, Mums and Tots group, luncheon club, and over-fifties group.

The Vicar, the Revd Roger Parker (shown with some of volunteers and clients outside the present building), says that the whole community is overjoyed at the news of the grant. “At present, the state of the old building means that activities are somewhat restricted, but a new centre will enable greater use of the facilities by local people, and full access for those with disabilities.”

He tells me that he is optimistic that the building of the new premises at the back of the church will begin in the spring and be finished by early summer.

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