Willowfield Parish Church New Halls Complex
Willowfield Parish Church new halls complex was opened recently giving the congregation and local community fantastic new facilities. Work on this state-of-the-art complex began 18 months ago. Willowfield Parish in Belfast officially opened their new suite of halls on 20th May 2017. It will provide a much-needed boost to an area which has been severely impacted by social deprivation.
Parishioners at Willowfield are determined that their Church should be ‘in the community and for the community.’ It is their generous financial giving which has gone a long way to making this refurbishment possible.
A significant level of funding has also been provided by from Belfast City Council. This is the first project to be funded and completed under the Belfast Investment Fund. Also the Department of Education (capital scheme for renovating church halls for activities for young people), Garfield Weston Foundation and Active Belfast.
A major driving force behind the revamp is to offer more activities for young people. Willowfield Church and WPCA (Community Association) will now be able to cater for many more than before. This will result in a wide range of clubs and activities on offer at the facilities.
These include the provision of support for those trying to find work or in need of help with their education. Also for learning new skills and volunteering opportunities.
But the facilities are not only for young people. There will also be activities for parents and small children, for older people and pretty much everyone in between.
A new sports hall & health and fitness suite will give people plenty of opportunity to improve their fitness and get active.
Situated behind the church hall is a new area, known as the U–Turn project.
This work to provide sports facilities and a children’s play park has been done in memory of a Robert Bunting. He was a young, local man who was diagnosed with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. Tragically he died at the age of 26 in February, 2015.
Robert’s formative years were spent on the Woodstock Road in the parish. When he and his family became aware of his condition they turned to Willowfield Church for comfort and support.
After Robert’s death, his family sought to repay the kindness, love and help they had received. They began thinking about what they could give back to a community that had rallied around when they needed its help.
They wanted a fitting memorial to Robert. With sport having been what he loved, that inspired the project, now to be known as The U–Turn Project.
Willowfield Parish Church new halls complex also includes an area called the U-Turn Project.
The U–Turn Project’s aim will be to transform and turn around the lives of young people. For that reason the new facility includes a Multi–Use Games Area sited alongside the new halls.
Robert’s father, Colin Bunting, is one of the Glebe Wardens and along with Brian Mayes has been much involved in the transformation of the church halls. They have worked alongside the builders, design team and staff of Belfast City Council.
The renovation of the church halls and the creation of a modern family–friendly park will give a major boost to the local community. It will aid youth workers, volunteers and families. It will also support local children and young people in their personal, social and spiritual development.
The Rector, Rev David McClay, spoke about the impact which Willowfield Parish Church new halls complex will have in the area.
“Not only will we be able to extend the services we offer to young people in the local area. Our new facilities mean we can offer activities for parents and toddlers, older people and pretty much everyone in between!”
You can find out much more about Willowfield Parish Church by visiting their website here.