“Congratulations on the approval of grant funding of $5,000 for the Community Garden and Playground Upgrade project, under the Stronger Communities Programme.”
That’s a great email to find in your inbox! Back in May, Marny and Rory reported at our Church Gathering about the momentum that was building to refurbish the hall playground area and try and open it up for wider community engagement. But the grant is matching; we need to find $5,000 to give us a total of $10,000.
The money is allocated as follows: $5,000 for new playground equipment, $3,000 for new BBQs, and $2,000 for 3 new raised vegetable beds and tools. Here’s part of the original vision from Alice and Marny who came to see me with it back in February:
This garden/space would allow us to see what people are seeking in our community by allowing them to enter this space and for conversations to happen. From this we can see what people need and then grow from that, introducing new programs and things like that. We believe this is low-risk, in terms of cost, but benefits would be massive, especially in our discernment as a church and for us as a Kew church to engage with our local community!!! (a coffee cart could be added later)
It brings our community focus back to Kew, where our church and Res is. It allows us to have a common space for everyone to feel comfortable in, and focus on Kew as a suburb and the people directly around us. We believe that this would help bring in young families which is currently a goal for the church. We are a young church with so many creative ideas, we believe we are able to do something creative as a team and as this is something that would involve a lot of people from our community it would be sustained. It would be a good way to cross Res and church, and relationships would be deeper as we would be working together.
So what we need to do now is raise the money, and start the project. Our funding deed stipulates that we must complete the project by 31 October. We also need people – yes you – to come to the working bees and help. Even if you can just come for an hour, every pair of hands helps.
Saturday 8 October, 8am-12pm: The Highbury Common Working Bee
Saturday 22 October, 8am-12pm: Church Working Bee
And regardless of what we decide about property later in the year, we don’t need to wait around to start finding new ways of engaging with our local community. This is a great opportunity, church. Please pray, please work, and let’s trust God to make it into something wonderful.
Nicholas, on behalf of the Highbury Common Team (Alice, Rory & Marny)