National Estate Churches Network

Signs of Change

St Frideswide’s Church is at the heart of community action, running health and wellbeing activities with the Lakes Estate in Bletchley. Rev’d Steve Hallett, now Associate Minister at the church has shared with us about some of their recent events.

Watch our interview with Steve to find out about some of these activities and how the church uses Community Organising to listen to what issues people have on the estate, speaking to them directly, to build relationships in order to work together with residents and community organisations to bring about social change.

In conjunction with the local residents association, St Frideswide’s church has been at the heart of the Community helping to organise a whole week of health and wellbeing activities.

There was a hot meal of spaghetti bolognese available at the church run Food Larder and Cafe with 60 people and children enjoying healthy food and advice and support in cooking on a budget.

Wednesday was a morning of a guided cycle around the Lakes Estate supported by Milton Keynes Council, Bikeability and Cycle Saviours.

In the afternoon lots of families came together for the ‘Signs of Change’ activity. Steve had this to say about Signs of Change Project:

“The idea behind Signs of Change was to clean and check the street signs across the estate. This will help when people are expecting deliveries, prescriptions or when an ambulance has to come to the estate.  It was great to see members of the community come together to help and make a difference to our estate. The young people were very keen to help and we were also joined by Michael Bracey, the Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Council. We now have very clean signs and have noted missing signs which we’ll follow up on with Milton Keynes Council. “

Thursday was a free activity day on the estate park attended by nearly 400 people and was supported by health and wellbeing organisations including help to stop smoking and with weight management, Age Concern and activities specific for children.  The church also set up a prayer space for people to sit quietly, write a prayer and light a candle and the team ended up praying with many people too.

On the Friday there was an estate wide treasure hunt finishing off at church with a free BBQ and ice cream.  Attended by 170 people including children and Steve provided a short reflection about the importance of spiritual health to find meaning, hope and comfort. The church provided spiritual health packs including prayers, candles and holding crosses.

“It was a joy to be at the heart of the community and reflects the trust we have built up over the years that so many people feel comfortable being in our church building and hearing that God loves them, cares for them and show that through our actions and prayers.”

Rev Steve Hallett

Permission has been obtained by the families to use the photos

Read more estate church stories:

Want more?

If you want more stories like this, why not join us and subscribe to our newsletter?