St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 3rd July 2011
Dreams can come true……
A little more than 40 years ago, three Christian ministers – one Anglican, one Congregationalist and one Methodist got together to see if they could do anything about the crimes that were then known by the horrible term ‘Paki-bashing’.
They decided that it would be a good idea to have a deliberately multi-cultural youth club – quite a novelty in those days – and they invited young people to come together and meet each other as individuals rather than strangers.
And from that dream, shared with others and brought into being with help from the local authority, The Renewal Programme has grown and flourished and is delighted to be celebrating 40 years of service to people in Newham and surrounding boroughs this year.
Nowadays, we employ about 85 people, most of whom live in Newham, and we are helped and supported by hundreds of volunteers who do a wide variety of tasks – everything from being on one of our committees, to teaching homeless people to grow things in the garden, to giving out the dried foods and Harvest and Christmas gifts given to us by St Bart’s and St Mary Magdalene’s churches, to people who are refugees.
Those who started the Renewal Programme could not have known how their idea would grow and develop but, with God’s good grace, it did. They couldn’t have imagined that, earlier this year, young people from the Hartley Centre, which is a Renewal Programme project, travelled to Northern Ireland to work with a culturally mixed group of youngsters there, to show them how to live together in peace. Amazing how the dream became an idea which became reality.
Have you been dreaming lately…….?