Castle Hill URC

JennieWEBCRCW - Jennie Crane

Northampton is the largest town in the UK and the Spring Boroughs area includes young transitory families along with those who have lived in the area all of their long life. A four year Government Neighbourhood Renewal partnership came to a close in 2010; this reduced crime (prostitution & drug related) partly through building community spirit and regeneration initiatives.

CRCW Jennie Crane has two priorities for her time, which respond to local issues and opportunities around community regeneration, housing and homelessness. One is to continue to be involved with enabling a Neighbourhood Plan to be composed with a programme to regenerate the area, a major task that will take a few years to complete. The community audit has yet to be completed but a Neighbourhood Forum now meets with a minimum of 21 local people. Improving play facilities, traffic flow through the area and repairing potholes are issues that are being addressed and local people are encouraged to seek practical action.

In recent years a priority for Jennie’s ministry is as Chaplain to ‘Streetchurch’. This is an ecumenical initiative that began about 6 years ago to provide support and to build Christian community with local people who are homeless. It meets every Sunday lunch time at the local Salvation Army building and is now a registered charity. Jennie has organised a ‘drop-in’ on Tuesday’s at Castle Hill URC, which is supported by an elder who is very new to this type of work and also by a Streetchurch volunteer. Hospital visiting is also a part of Jennie‘s Chaplain role. Her aim is to build up relationships with those who hang around the estate and enable them to feel ‘at home’.

Improving health & wellbeing is a priority for local residents and Jennie has helped the church hold a number of social fundraising events so that their kitchen facilities may be improved for use by local groups.

To read more about Street Church, click here.