It was a real privilege today to share in the celebrations at Redland Parish Church as they announced that the new community building had received planning permission from Bristol City Council and that the fundraising had reached the half-way stage! The milestones were marked by the donation of an extra-large and lovely cake donated by Redland Bakery.
After a few months of delay from BCC it took some prodding from councillors to speed things up to get the plans to the committee stage. Planning permission should have been granted back in September but the congregation were all smiles today as now it's full steam ahead for a fantastic development of the church halls. The sensitive and environmentally friendly design will bring new facilities for community use in and around Redland. The plans will build new rooms for the youth groups, toddler groups, and pre-school which are so valued by the community.
Developments like this make me realise how vital the community is. Governments and legislation can never replace the genuine commitment of good people to their locality. Redland Church reach out to their parish with kindness and love. The youth workers seek to help local teens make sense of the modern world, they are easy going, fun and totally committed to their work. The pre-school caters for toddlers and supports parents through those tiring early years. There are events for every age group from old to young. The whole of Redland can join in, no one is ever excluded. I may be accused of being sentimental but surely this is what community life is about? The church would call it their ministry, David Cameron would call it 'Big Society', I just call it human kindness. It's part of what makes the world go round and no government or laws can ever replicate it.