Our proposal objective for the building is threefold namely; a Church, Community and Conferencing centre. Based on all our feasibility research, consultants’ reports and architect’s drawings we believe that the renovation, extension and restoration work will enable our building to be saved, and fulfil these functions, all three of which are vital to its long term sustainability.
Church Meeting Space
The Tab Church membership and community initiatives are now greatly constrained, the church having outgrown our current home, a grade II listed Victorian redbrick church building on Algernon Road in Lewisham. Traditional church services are currently being split into multiple services and overflow areas within the current building often leaving the church congregation feeling fragmented in a situation where a church family wish to be able to worship in one service together. Our new building and its design proposal will enable The Tab to continue and expand its traditional church functions which are not limited to but include:
- Sunday services
- Sunday school for children, crèche during the Sunday services
- Weekly prayer meetings, Christian education and classes
- Administrative offices
Conferencing & meeting spaces
The design proposal includes for the provision of high quality conferencing facilities for small businesses and local groups to hire as part of the buildings service to the community. The proposal for the building to include a state of the art designed facility and equipment, coupled with the excellent “PTAL” (green travel) rating, all means that when not used for church services the building will be available for conferencing and meeting.
Crèche & Cafe
The original building housed a cafe situated in the front of the building on the corner of the Courthill Road. Our proposal includes the use of this space as a cafe serving in the 21st century along with a crèche, both of which we envisage serving both the church and community needs.
The Tab church often hosts and holds seats on various community bodies and also offers a variety of community services which it wishes to expand. The high street location that the building commands offers the opportunity to expand much of the work The Tab does and enables it to make easier partnership links with other organisations who would also like to offer services from a more central location. Some of the initiatives The Tab are involved with and offers to the community include:
- Food Bank – hosting Lewisham Central’s first food-bank and distribution point. This is currently offered two-three times a week, staffed by 8-12 volunteers
- Youth mentoring – support of vulnerable young people in the local community, some of whom for example have been involved in gang culture in the local urban areas.
- Lewisham Police Consultative Committee – vice chair and host of the Committee, and has helped greater communication between Lewisham Police, Lewisham Council and the community.
- Project Jeremiah – a faith based initiative which aims to positively impact especially the children and youth of our local community, in particular, educationally. Project Jeremiah conducts assemblies at Lewisham schools and also hosts motivational youth events where it gives away approximately £10,000 worth of vouchers annually for back to school uniforms and equipment especially to those children and parents in need specifically within Lewisham. www.projectjeremiah.org.uk
- Community outreach projects – The “REACH” community action team focuses its support and resources on three vulnerable groups in Lewisham:
- The elderly (offering days out and grocery food supplies);
- The homeless (offering food clothing to those living on the streets), and
- Women and children escaping from domestic violence (offering security and support through counselling).
- Safer Neighbourhood Panel – The Tab sits on the Panel focused on the central locality of Rushey Green, Lewisham Central, Lee Green, Blackheath, Grove Park and Catford South, and works closely with the Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Team. The Church regularly hosts the Safer Neighbourhood ward meetings.
All of these initiatives and more the Tab church wishes to expand in service to Lewisham from the building it now owns on the high street.