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Stockton Road United Reform Church

Stockton Road UR

About the organisation

The fellowship of Stockton Road United Reformed Church has been the custodians of a majestic heritage building since it was originally conceived and built during the 1880's. This means we have a history within our community, a place in people's hearts, however as with many church communities the average age of our membership has risen, our fellowship numbers have dwindled, especially since the Covid -19 lockdowns.

During 2019 we developed a vision for the future, a vision to serve our local community and to that end we raised and then spent £200, 000 to upgrade our facilities during the first lockdown. This led to us appointing our Church Related Community Worker, who moved to Sunderland to work with us in July 2021, just as the Sunderland Voluntary Sector Alliance was formed.  This synergy in formation has been key in enabling our Church Related Community Worker to develop networks and partnerships as we begin to find ways to serve and support our wider community.

How we have helped

The Alliance became involved with us in November 2021, introducing our Church Related Community Worker to relevant Council Officers, possible partners and stakeholders, helping her to build stronger and wider networks than would have been possible due to the Covid - 19 restrictions, whilst at the same time reflecting back to us the wider community's awareness of us.  This was achieved through the Alliance Community Support Worker attending various embryonic project steering groups, events including various 1:1 sessions with our Church Related Community Worker. Because of this presence, this journeying with us she was able to point to helpful initiatives or partners, to aid our thinking which has ultimately led us to develop two projects with different emphasis which have raised our profile within our local community.

Feedback from the organisation

Although our Church Related Community Worker is qualified and experienced having the support of the Alliance has helped to countermand the disadvantages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Our networks and developing partnerships have been strengthened and supported through the work of the Alliance enabling our developing projects to be stronger and more sustainable as we continue to look to the future.

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