Over the last four months, as part of a Scottish Government Community Choices grant, the Church of Scotland has supported four congregations to set up and deliver PB events in their local communities. Across the four churches £20,000 was distributed to 28 community projects.
On the Tuesday 23 May 2017 there was a fringe event at the Church of Scotland General Assembly for people from Churches across Scotland to hear from congregations who have been part of the project. The General Assembly is the highest decision making forum of the Church of Scotland where 750 representatives of churches across Scotland and beyond engage in wide ranging debate on matters of social and national interest as well as on Church policy and governance. Reporting on the PB project was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the value of PB processes to such a varied audience.
The fringe event explored the opportunities and challenges that PB offers to churches to be at the heart of community transformation. Speakers came from:
· Carrick Knowe Church, Edinburgh
· Cranhill Parish Church, Glasgow
· Old Kirk Muirhouse, Edinburgh
· St Andrew’s Church, Arbroath
During the lunchtime event speakers emphasised that the community decided which projects would be good for their areas and that everyone who bid for funding got something out of the event – even those projects which were not funded. Some community organisations were offered resources or volunteers from other projects and many people found out about something new in their area.
The success of the project was summed up by the final comment from the audience, PB is “a brilliant way of enfranchising communities – how do you get on board?”
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