Church to launch £100k multi-sports site in Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 14:26 22 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:26 22 November 2016
A church is launching a £100,000 multi-use games area (MUGA) to make the site more than a place to worship.
The new asphalt pitch at St George’s Church in Dagenham has basketball, football and netball facilities and will be officially opened by council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell on Sunday.
The congregation at the Rogers Road church raised £18,000 towards the project which aims to make it a site used by the whole community rather than for meetings and services for just a few hours a week.
“We thought we’d provide something for the local community that people can bring their kids to,” minister Simon Smallwood explained.
“It’s basically an indestructible asphalt construction – the only thing like it around here is in Parsloes Park and that’s quite a long way for a lot of our folks.”
The project was first conceived of when the church was undergoing a major refurbishment a decade ago.
At the time, Simon rebranded the church as a place for clubs and associations to meet in a move to ensure the church was reaching out to people outside its walls.
He now hopes the same principle will apply with the MUGA site, and plans to offer it as a sports site for Richard Alibon Primary School and Hunters Hall Primary School, both of which recently lost playground space to classroom extensions to accommodate a rise in the number of pupils.
The site, which bagged £35,000 in funding from The Charles Skey Charitable Trust, will focus on catering to people living in Alibon ward as opposed to operating as a borough-wide commercial sports site.
Sunday’s free launch, which will run from 2pm to 4pm, will feature a MUGA-shaped cake that can feed about 100 people.