As Christian’s we believe that God longs for us to enjoy abundant life. This means that we walk through each day believing we really matter, are especially loved, and have hope for the future. Belief is only real if it is lived, Shildon Alive is our lived expression of what it means to be a Christian in Shildon.
Shildon Alive! grew out of three years of the church in Shildon listening to local people express their concerns about their community and their hopes for the future. With the support of Faith in the Community (FIC) the first Community Garden, complete with disabled toilets, raised beds, polytunnel and greenhouse, opened in 2012. As the project grew local people began to trust that the church was on their side. The mission of the church in Shildon has been self-described as ‘The Church where everyone is family.’ This reflects our belief that as children of one Father every person is unique and, as a Father, God is passionate about their flourishing. The project reflects both our listening and this God-rooted passion.
These community relationships were developing just as austerity began to bite and people started to talk about the need to do something. Shildon Alive! became that ‘something’ with the name reflecting our belief in abundant life for all. At the end of 2012 the project received a grant from the Big Lottery ‘Building Stronger Communities’ fund. This grant, phased over five years, allowed the project to coalesce around building a team of volunteers, whilst at the same time creating a ‘safe space’ from which to manage the project. This space is known as ‘The Hub’ and was opened by the Bishop of Durham in March 2014.
Shildon Alive operates a fully inclusive policy, all ethnicities, genders, and religions are welcome. All key workers and volunteers are fully DBS checked. Policies relating to safeguarding, inclusion, equality, and financial propriety are all in place and available for inspection.