City Life Church has always aimed to be the heart of the community, a place not only for worship and prayer, but a place where people of any
background or faith can come and benefit from the facilities.
City Life Church minister Kevin Clarke explains how loan finance has helped the church bring a community together:
We know that people’s health and life chances are strongly linked to social isolation and economic deprivation. These issues are pertinent here in Sunderland, where some individuals don’t have the chance to participate in community activities.
We’ve always aimed to be the heart of the community, a place not only for worship and prayer, but a place where people of any background or faith can come and benefit from our facilities. We outgrew the existing church building and our size constraints meant that we were unable to accommodate some of our key clubs and groups.
The only way forward was to extend the church building. A Charity Bank loan helped part-fund the building project and the church is now double the size, with meeting rooms and a community hall.
Our congregation size has increased and community involvement in the church has taken off. New mums attend the baby and toddler group and over 30 older people go to the weekly lunch club. We’ve also been able to increase our income by renting space to local business and other community organisations.
"New mums attend the baby and toddler group and over 30 older people go to the weekly lunch club."
- Kevin Clarke, minister, City Life Church
Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank's regional manager for the North of England, supported Allison and Kevin during the loan process. He says:
"The church is financially strong and has demonstrated the ability to generate a modest, though consistent, surplus sufficient to cover the costs of running the church and the repayments on the new loan, which was used to fund improvements to the fabric of the building.
By investing in new facilities, the church saw that it could attract more church-goers and potential donors, acquire more space to rent out, and grow as a support hub for the community. A hardworking and visionary leadership team have helped build an entrepreneurial church that is active in the community."