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There were loud and colourful celebrations in Salford as a new community hub and church space opens its doors for the first time last week.
A new church and community hub, MediaCityUK Church, opened to serve the communities of Ordsall and Weaste, and wider Salford. Children, families and local people were invited to tour the new space today to find out more about what services and activities are on offer, and to enjoy canapés and celebrations to mark the opening.
MediaCityUK Church is a joint project from community development charity Oasis UK, Oasis Academy MediaCityUK and the United Reformed Church (URC) on Broadway, Ordsall. In 2008, the new Oasis Academy MediaCityUK replaced the former URC Salford Central Mission buildings. The new church and hub space opening marks a renewal of community provision in the area thanks to considerable investment from Oasis UK and URC.
The leaders of the three supporting organisations Principal Fiona O’Sullivan, Oasis Hub and Church Leader Adam Webster, and URC Pioneer Minister Revd Stuart Nixon kicked off the festivities by welcoming their guests to the community space.
Oasis leaders Revd Steve Chalke MBE and Joy Madeiros, and Moderator of the United Reformed Church North Western Synod Revd Andrew Mills, spoke about their hopes for how the church and hub will be a valued centre for the local community and how it belongs not to Oasis or URC, but the people of Salford.
This was followed by the signing of the Partnership Covenant, prayers and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque officially declaring the new MediaCityUK Church, open.
The new centre will provide a new home for a thriving set of community initiatives that have been established at Oasis Academy MediaCityUK such as a Café Church, English lessons, a Parent and Toddler group called Playspace, and a foodbank serving the local community.
Having officially opened the new community space, Founder and leader of the Oasis group of charities, Rev Steve Chalke MBE, says, “Today is a day of celebration following a long ten years since we first met with our partners URC about creating this wonderful new community space for Salford.”
“We have had a fantastic day welcoming our local community in to see the facilities for themselves for the very first time, including lots of our students and families from Oasis Academy MediaCityUK and beyond. We want this space to belong to the local community, for them to feel at home and safe here, and for this to become a really positive new asset for Salford.”
The URC Synod Moderator, Revd Andrew Mills, says “Today has been a wonderful day of celebration in opening a space which offers the church the privilege of engaging with the local community and the academy. It is a significant moment, the culmination of a long journey shared together. Most journeys in the company of others take twists and turns in unexpected ways.”
“I believe that as the United Reformed Church and Oasis have stayed together over the last decade the power of God has been at work stirring our desire to see a vibrant Christian community in this place. For the United Reformed Church it is marvellous that in partnership with Oasis we can once again see a church in Salford which we are able to support as it seeks to be a blessing to all who live in this area.”
Fiona O’Sullivan, Principal of Oasis Academy MediaCityUK adds, “We are thrilled that the opening day for the new church and community hub is finally here. A long time in the planning, and thanks to a huge amount of dedication and hard work, the centre is going to a fantastic base for all the work we do within our local community.”
“Oasis and Oasis Academy MediaCityUK exists to include and give opportunities to everyone, regardless of background or starting point – and this is a momentous day in realising that vision. I know our Hub Leader Adam Webster and URC Pioneer Minister Stuart Nixon, and all of our volunteers, cannot wait to welcome more and more of our local community to the Hub over the next days, weeks and years.”