On 12th July 2008 Community House Celebrated its 40th Anniversary
Community House has served the people of Maindee for forty years. Originally there was a big church building on this site, but when it had to be demolished due to subsidence, Rev Cyril Summers and his congregation had the vision to rebuild it as a community centre. It was to be ‘the servant church’, serving the community. Maindee has changed out of all recognition as people from many different parts of the world have settled there. Today there are a total of twenty different languages spoken among the children of Maindee Primary School. Community House has continued to work at ‘building up a caring community’ in Maindee for all this time.
Go to Community House on any day of the week and you will find many activities taking place, e.g. Maindee Playgroup, run by Surestart, a baby clinic, ESOL classes, Ashianna club for Asian Women and Youth Club (and that’s only Monday’s timetable). These facilities are run by agencies such as Newport County Council, Newport Mind etc. As you would expect from the demographic most of the people who use the facilities are of Asian origin and members of the Muslim faith.
What is special about Community House is that it is dedicated to encouraging caring, both in individuals and communities and to developing peace, reconciliation and renewal. To this end there are events which the community can work towards and enjoy together. One such annual event, to celebrate the diversity amongst those who are users of Community House, took place on 11th July 2009. This event was also used to celebrate the 40th anniversary.
About 300 people, of many different cultures and faiths attended and took part in peace-making. From babes-in-arms to members of TLC, (Tuesday Lunch Club for seniors) people came together to share singing, memories, photographs, food and excellent company. Muslim children sang as did members of a Christian Caribbean Church who meet at Community House; a Hare Krishna family chanted; members of the Baha’i Faith spoke of what all faiths have in common; Newport Mind Writing Group read poems; members of Maindee Active Girls performed a little drama. Pam Evans from Peace Mala showed children how to make Peace Mala bracelets where each colour bead represents a major world faith and told them how everyone deserves respect. Peace messages were written on leaves and then tied onto a tree of life.
Some people just enjoyed good company in the Peace Garden. In the chapel we lit candles for our respective faiths and prayed for peace. Many people worked hard to make the afternoon a success and the atmosphere was very warm and friendly. People of all faiths and none, young and old, just had a good time together.
There are changes coming about in the running of Community House so that it can continue to serve the community. The volunteers who run Community House, mostly members of the Christian church, are delighted to be joined by Dr Abdalla Yassin Muhammad OBE, who has become one of our trustees and also that Imam Saeed Ali Jawad attended our event to support the youngsters from his new Community Centre, Welsh Crescent, in Pillgwenlly. He spoke eloquently about our need to work together. We hope that the involvement of prominent Muslim men, such as these, will encourage the Inter faith dialogue that is so necessary to our life in Wales today.
It was really good that Rev. Dafydd Andrew Jones, Director of the Life and Witness Board of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, and also Rev. Aled Edwards OBE, from Churches Together in Wales could be with us to show support and encouragement. Both of these church leaders are committed to inter faith work and were pleased to see it in action at Community House PCW.
Don't forget to look at the photographs in Gallery 2009
Community House is the first ever Peace Mala accredited community centre...
Same organisation - New Management
Still 'building up a caring community'