In partnership with the Strand Centre
We are a relatively small congregation with a superb site in the centre of Dawlish. 85% of the people who shop in Dawlish pass our building, and our spire makes our building the highest in Dawlish. As we considered how our commitment to our community was to work in practice we realised the building needed to be made suitable for 21st century use, and we could not respond to all that needed to be done without the help of others.
So we formed the Strand Community Trust, an independent charitable limited company, to be our partner in our mission work. We were very conscious that genuine partnership is not "We invite you come and help us", but "How can we work together?". So as a matter of principle the majority of trustees are non-church members, and the congregation is treated like other users of the Centre, booking the building for its worship and other activities as others do, and paying the going rate.
The congregation handed over much of its community work to the Trust to run.
Many members of the congregation have joined others to become volunteers in the Centre's work, and the Centre is developing partnerships with other organizations such as Cancer Research, Oakwood Court College and Volunteering in Health.
Further details can be found on the Strand Centre web site.
We understand that this may be the first leasing of a church building by a congregation which is still using it as a worship centre.
Legalities We had to employ lawyers to draw up the lease on the building for the Strand Community Trust and to present it as a Scheme for this to the Charity Commission. This cost us £17,500. We were, however, ourselves able to register the Strand Community Trust and its operating subsidiary, the Strand Operating Company Ltd, which saved us over £7,000.
The Centre has a 25 year lease on the building, with one small room being sub-let to the congregation.
Professionals We have been blessed by gathering a team of highly qualified architects for the building, a very cooperative quantity surveyor and a grant advisor with an outstanding track record in this area. (For full details see Buildings). We also had to show that the building is not a unique example of the work of William Tarring (as some heritage people suggested); for this we employed an architectural historian. Details are available on request.
Development From April 2012 the Centre took over all the development plans for the building. As money becomes available it will do the work under a building licence granted by the regional URC Synod.
Strand Community Trust:
Charity no: 1137694 Company no: 06559331
Strand Operating Community:
Comany no: 07257404