The Manor Church and Community Project, Sheffield

CRCW - Simon Loveittsimon loveitt April14 Web

The Manor Church and Community Project is an ecumenical project - Methodist, Anglican and United Reformed Church - working on the Manor & Castle electoral ward in SE Sheffield, a community ranked in the top 1% of the Government's indices of deprivation.

The vision is to work ecumenically, and in partnership with others who share our aims, to be agents of God’s transformation in the lives both of individuals and the community in the Manor area of Sheffield. The vision is based on our strong belief that the Church is called to be an agent of social change and a vehicle for establishing God’s Kingdom.

The project has already provided support and encouragement for local families and children on the Manor Estate in their faith and life journeys and to build their confidence to engage with church, schools and community. This area of work has been identified as a key priority by the local churches in consultation with other relevant community agencies.

Simon Loveitt has been called as a CRCW to the Manor Church and Community Project and began work on 1st September 2014. His task has been to build upon the already exiting initiatives that existed, building new relationships, and trying to make a difference in the community by addressing the many issues that present themselves. Key areas of work have included Financial Inclusion through work with the local Credit Union, Community Cohesion and developing a co-ordinated youth provision resource for the neighbourhood through the Scouting movement.

Food poverty is an acute problem in the S2 ‘Manor’ area of Sheffield. The S2 Food Poverty Network is the local Food Bank and Simon is the Foodbank treasurer. Unfortunately there has been massive growth in the use of the foodbank, with currently about 3 tonnes of food being distributed each month. We have a CAB worker based with us which helps clients only use the foodbank for emergency provision rather than becoming dependent on food long-term. We are also working on alternative projects to provide low cost food provision, including work with the Real Junk Food Project.

The biggest potential project is the redevelopment of William Temple Church into a multi-use community centre, costing about £400,000. Applying for the funding is taking time, as our initial Lottery Funding bid was turned down. We are now applying to several trust funds.

"One excellent way of promoting community cohesion is bringing people together with food or a community festival…” View Simon's March 2017 Reflection here: Feast and Festivals - My Neighbourhood

For a fascinating read, please refer to: '25 Years of Creating Change in Communities' written by CRCW Simon Loveitt.