Glenfield Methodist Church: 20-20 Vision Project

Glenfield outside

The last refurbishment of the Glenfield Methodist Church in Leicestershire took place around 2003, and most areas were looking worn and tired. Because our Playgroup used the hall and lounge it meant that we as a church couldn’t organise any daytime events other than in the chapel.

Our vision was to ‘split’ the two sides of the church building so that Playgroup could meet in a secure area and other events could take place too, and was about encouraging Faith, having Fun and Fellowship and building for the Future.

Our Mission Statement is entitled Serving God in our Generation, and we state that

Glenfield Methodist Church is committed to being:

  • A Welcoming Church – offering a friendly and personal approach, good publicity and well-maintained premises.
  • A Worshipping Church – living out our faith in all we do.
  • A Caring and Praying Church – supporting each other, our local and global communities.
  • A Giving Church – generous with our talents, time and money in Christian service at home and abroad.
  • A Growing Church – providing opportunities for EACH generation to learn about and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Glenfield puzzle

Raising the money

We invited people to come along to our first Gift Day, where we had a 3,000 piece jigsaw to complete, games to play, food to eat and a place to pray.

We were promised an amazing £50,000 at that first Gift Day. We then held concerts, social events, fashion shows and plant sales where people gladly joined in. Once the building work started, photos from the site meetings were shared in weekly notices and each month’s church newsletter and this helped people feel involved.

From the outset, in addition to one-off gifts, people were asked to pledge an annual amount payable in monthly or annual instalments. Our treasurer then sent out personalised letters or emails following up the pledges made and where appropriate as costs rose, making an additional appeal.

A great effort was put into applying for grants; we were successful in many areas and grateful for all those received. A financial summary was published in each newsletter to keep everyone informed of the progress being made.

Community Involvement

Many people from the community attended the social events we held whilst raising money for the project. Covid-19 put a stop to that of course. Once we were able to open up after the building work was completed, our Community Open Day was really well attended and we were overwhelmed with the compliments received.

This Open Day is now to become an annual event, showcasing the work done within the church and those groups who book our halls from within the community.

Main Aspects of the Scheme

We employed an architect who came up with an excellent scheme, helping us to see things in a different way.

Phase 1: Within the hall area, a complete overhaul of the small kitchen and the toilet block was undertaken during the summer holidays of 2019.

Glenfield kitchen

Unfortunately, our architect retired in 2019 and his company were not interested in continuing with the project. We appointed a new architect, Simon J D Bird RIBA ARB of Flying Buttress Architecture who was amazing, going out of his way to find the best solutions to problems encountered.

We were then impacted by Brexit and Covid. Materials were difficult to source and prices increased. Builders were unwilling to tender, but fortunately the builders recommended by our architect did tender, and we were so blessed by the working relationship that built up between everyone involved.

Phase 2: The major work was remodelling of the centre section between the hall and the church. This included the kitchen, lounge, foyer and current office. The original cost of £650,000 rose to over £1 million but with faith and hard work, the money was raised and the work completed by the end of 2022.

Glenfield Methodit Church lounge

New church lounge fitted with sound boards

Phase 3: Finally, installation of a new frontage that would link the foyer entrance to the church with the entrance to the hall, which was completed in early January 2023.

Glenfield Methodist new frontage

Energy Efficiency

Before this project began, the Energy Performance Survey showed the building scored 157 which was a ‘G’ rating, the lowest score possible. Subsequently, the work included a replacement of the antiquated heating system with two brand new, efficient boilers; replacement of the lighting system with energy efficient LED lights and improved insulation.

A fire alarm system was installed across the building. We have recently been granted an Eco Church award partly due to the efficiency of our new lighting and heating appliances.

What happens now?

Regular Sunday morning worship is the focus for our time together. We hold a Warm Space or Coffee & Chat event every Monday, and a monthly Memory Café for those with dementia and their carers.

Craft afternoons take place on a monthly basis, and our Girls’ Brigade meet weekly during term time. A successful Toddler group also meets weekly, along with our Playgroup which is held on four days each week during term-time. Our rooms are also booked by outside groups throughout the week.

Glenfield group meeting

Many of us at Glenfield Methodist Church feel that we have taken on a new life, with growth witnessed before the 20-20 Vision Project began, and signs of new life appeared during fund raising and other events. Covid-19 was a serious setback, but even then new people joined us on Sundays when worship was strange and difficult.

As things began to turn towards a new normal and our building work progressed, we began to respond to two special sermons given during Zoom worship. These had urged us to begin to think about new ways to worship and serve God.

Team Joshua meetings that anyone could attend highlighted two ways in which could serve our community. The energy price crisis showed the need for churches to open up their “warm spaces” and we started ours in January 2023. We feel blessed that people who came alone have made new friends.

As the winter faded we turned Mondays into a Coffee & Chat event and people from our community come and mix with church members and really enjoy our sessions. In our recent Christmas services, Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship, we have been joined by people who have attended these events. Some are becoming quite regular in worship.

Glenfield Methodist Memory cafe

Again the Team Joshua forum enabled us to think and talk about other opportunities. Before we began our 20-20 Vision Project we wanted to serve those in our community who suffered with dementia and their carers. So in October 2023 we started our Memory Café on the first Thursday afternoon of each month.

Again we have been blessed and have built important bridges in our community. We quickly realised that the need was greater than our provision even though there are other similar meetings in our area. We have a waiting list and have talked about a second session.

God has been good to us.

For more information about Glenfield Methodist Church, click here.