The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund has made a grant of £3,000 to provide equipment for a table tennis and games club run by St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale, Farnham. The club serves a deprived area with poor access to recreational facilities and offers table tennis, pool, jigsaws, board games and a Nintendo Wii, together with light refreshments.
The Revd Lesley Crawley, Rector of the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale said:
“We are very grateful for this grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund, which is providing a community focus in an area where there are not many social opportunities and public transport is limited.
“The club has got off to a good start and numbers are growing steadily, largely by word of mouth recommendation. So far we have between 30 and 40 people from a broad range of ages engaging with the club, which is very encouraging , old and young are able to form friendships while playing games and enjoying light refreshments and the intergenerational mix helps to build community cohesion.”
The ages range from pre-teens to almost 90, and members of the club speak warmly of the Friday-night get-togethers.
“It’s an all-age group for youngsters as well as we oldies and we have a chance to do things together, which we don’t usually get to do,”
said one, while another commented:
“Everyone is really friendly and it doesn’t matter if you are a teenager, in your 30s, or 80+, you can all mix in and there is something for everyone. Those who are not up to playing table tennis can do other things like jigsaws or just sit and enjoy cake and a chat.”
The Bishop of Guildford's Communities Fund (BGCF) exists to reach out to disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the Diocese of Guildford in the name of Christ. Grants and practical support are offered to projects initiated by Church of England churches (and those in active partnership with them), to assist them to fulfil Goal 6 of the diocesan vision, Transforming Church, Transforming Lives:
'Together to increase the range, professionalism and spiritual fruitfulness of our partnerships with the local community, to help create a stronger, fairer and more sustainable society.'
Find out more about the work of the Bishop of Guildford's Communities Fund. You can also donate to the fund online.