St Mildred's Church, Addiscombe
Addiscombe is a densely-populated residential area of Croydon with few community facilities. St Mildred’s, which has long been known as the “Cathedral of the Suburbs” in view of its sheer size, and the adjoining St Mildred’s Centre welcomes everyone in the community, whether they worship there or not. The Centre opened in 2012 and provides space for a play group, arts, crafts, exercise and a wide range of advisory services. Because it can no longer cope with the demand for space, the PCC decided to renovate the main church so that it can host more community activity when services are not taking place.
The church had some funds available and the response from the congregation and wider community to a fund-raising appeal was very generous, but these would not be sufficient to cover everything, so CSC were asked to help. We began by undertaking a survey of over 250 local people (using grant funding so that the church’s funds could be saved for the renovations) to establish that they would be interested in going to community activity at the church and, if so, find out what would attract them most. Among the services that were most needed was debt and money advice and the PCC immediately found time and space for an advisor to visit on a regular basis.
More importantly, there was a very positive response to the proposal from all sectors of the community and this provided the evidence to support several grant applications developed by CSC, and these have so far added nearly £75,000 to the funds and allowed the work to start.
Church warden Steve Chapman said: "It has been a real pleasure working with the team at CSC Regeneration. They really took time to understand the redevelopment project and the needs of both our Congregation and the wider Community. As a result they were able to provide invaluable assistance in our fundraising efforts. Really recommend working with the team"
The work is underway at St Mildred's