Community projects honoured during Assembly awards ceremony

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On Saturday lunchtime (8 July) the United Reformed Church General Assembly celebrated the work of the four initiatives commended in its Community Project Awards scheme, which is sponsored by the church insurer, Congregational & General. The awards are granted every two years, recognising the outstanding community impact of faith-led initiatives.

The overall winner of the 2016 Community Project Awards is Families Matter, a group based at Cornerstone URC in Hythe, Hampshire, that provides a range of practical support for families, including parenting classes. At the Assembly, representatives from the initiative – the Revd Eddie Boon, Cornerstone URC's minister, and Julia Cross, Project Manager – were presented with the winners plaque as well as a cheque for £4,000.

Mr Boon said: 'This is a wonderful affirmation for all those who have been involved with Families Matter. It is remarkable how this faithful congregation in Hythe has continued to discern and share in the mission of Jesus Christ even through difficult times. God is good – all the time!'

A befriending project tackling loneliness among older people – 'Feel Better Enjoy Life More', led by Broadway URC in Worcestershire – received a runner up prize of £2,500 as well as a wall plaque. Two other initiatives – a Leeds-based community charity shop and a dementia-friendly church initiative called Melody Memories led by Trinity Community Church in Manchester – were highly commended, each receiving both a plaque and a cheque for £1,750.

During the ceremony, the Revd David Grosch-Miller, immediate-past Moderator of the URC's General Assembly and one of the award judges, said: 'The standard of entries to this year's Community Project Awards was very high. Each of the prize winning organisations has made a real impact in their local area, showing God at work both in small details and large visionary projects. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, life-giving projects have grown out of local URC congregations.'


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