The builders are in at St Paul’s Ireland Wood, two years on from becoming one of the diocese’s Resource Churches.
Workers have now broken ground on a building project to refurbish and renew the worship space.
“This physical renewal is an outward sign of the growth the church has been going through in mission and discipleship,” said Revd Mark Harlow.
In November 2017, St Paul’s Ireland Wood embarked on a new chapter as Rev Mark and Kathryn Harlow were licensed to St Paul’s Ireland Wood before 44 people joined them from St George’s Leeds in January 2018 to be a part of revitalising the church, taking it forward to become a Resource Church, one of five Resource Churches in the Leeds Episcopal Area.
A Resource Church is:
- designated a resource church by the diocesan bishop
- part of a diocesan strategy to evangelise a city or town and transform society
- intentionally resourced to plant and revitalise churches
- developing a pipeline of leaders for further planting
- providing other resources for mission across a city or town
Two years on, the church has grown to have about 120 people worshipping there each Sunday, with a worshipping community of 180, along with a wider set of positive relationships with the local community.
Revd Mark said much of what has shaped this growth, is the faithfulness and commitment to prayer of those that are part of St Paul’s, along with building on partnerships and relationships across the local community that are rooted in loving and serving together.
The building work has been made possible with an initial grant from the Strategic Development Fund of £132,000. This has then been added to through grants from All Churches Trust and LCES totalling £86,250, with the church itself raising £216,000.
This is the first phase of a project to make the buildings warm, welcoming and accessible with the goal to create a space that acts as a beacon of hope to the local community as a hub for community partnerships, services and activities. This work on the worship space will enable it to be easier to access, provide comfort and an adaptable space that can have greater use beyond Sunday worship.