The Big Idea ...
Please note - This article was written circa 2010. Since that time, a number of changes have occurred, including the move of our vicar at the time, Philip Cochrane, to St Barnabas Church in Winchester. We'll be updating this article soon.
The people of St Columba Church have been seeking ways in which they can better serve the local people.
The church covers the north western part of Fareham, which is a mixed suburban area but has within it an area of significant deprivation, around what is known as Fareham Park.
The problem is that this community is self contained but lacks a community hub, where people can meet together and have a natter or indeed, get the help and support they need. The Church had given a lot of thought about how we might be able to overcome this problem – our big plan is to relocate completely, so that the church can be at the heart of the community.
Our Vicar, Philip Cochrane, had felt prompted to pray around the idea of a shop unit, so when Threshers, the off licence, went into administration just a few weeks later, the opportunity seemed obvious.
The vision was to open a 'one stop shop' in the retail unit Threshers had vacated. This would provide a social hub and a place to get help and advice where people already come to shop, grab a take away and visit the GP or dentist.
Armed with little more than a good idea, the Church worked with our local Member of Parliament, Mark Hoban MP, and with leading members of Hampshire County Council and Fareham Borough Council to see if such a project could be viable.. As a result, the two councils have generously provided the initial funding so the church could take on the lease of the shop, fit it out and get the project up and running. A PowerPoint presentation can be viewed by clicking here
This three way working partnership means that we open as the Highlands Hub on 8th April 2011.
Working in Partnership with