Uses of the Church

The Lighthouse Project is not only about developing the building to an adequate and usable standard. It is about St Michael’s commitment to be an active Christian presence in the Byker Community. We will enhance and add to the work that we’ve been developing over a number of years, in particular our work with young people partnering with the other Mission Initiative Newcastle East (MINE) Churches.

Children and Youth Work

We see that the Church has an increasing role in helping local children and young people grow in the knowledge that they are valued and have opportunities to flourish. There is a strong need for activities for young people and safe spaces for them to go in Byker, where youth provision has gradually been cut.

Byker has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the North East and the Church has become one of only a few organisations in the area that offers regular youth activities. In Spring 2017 we carried out a listening campaign with parents and young people to discern what they felt was needed in Byker. There was a consistently strong feeling expressed that more activities and spaces are needed for children and young people to address anti-social behaviour and incidents of vandalism on the estate.

The Church or the ‘Churchee’, as local young people call it, is already a hub and focus in the community for children and young people. The development of the building’s facilities will greatly compliment the work that MINE is already doing, working in partnership with other organisations such as Kids Kabin, Play Newcastle and Hat Trick.

Our vision is that St Michael’s will be a base and office for our growing MINE Youth Team as well as offering safe facilities for children and young people from the Byker estate to use.

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