A ground-breaking church initiative in Wolverhampton city centre has won a national award for its work with young adults.
Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries (WPM), also known as Vitalise, is a joint initiative between the Diocese of Lichfield and the Methodist Church to reach and equip local young adults, many from a marginalised background.
It won the gold award for the Best Project Advancing the Christian Faith at the national Christian Funders Forum (CFF) Awards at a special ceremony at Lambeth Palace last night, 17 November.
The award was collected by the project Team Leader Deborah Walton and Nicola Turner, Young Adult Outreach Coordinator.
Deborah said: Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries is thrilled to have won this award. It recognises the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in our mission to marginalised young adults in Wolverhampton: funders, staff and volunteers. It is a celebration of all that our community is and has achieved. We hope and pray that this will help us continue and develop our mission; it is certainly a huge encouragement to everyone who is part of WPM. We are very grateful to The Joseph Rank Trust for nominating us and for their support.
WPM was established in 2007 as a Fresh Expressions church for the under 30s in Wolverhampton, to worship and to love and serve those in the city. Fresh Expressions is a key strand of the Diocese of Lichfields Reaching New Generations programme.
WPM holds Sunday meetings in Darlington Street Methodist Church alongside other daily morning prayer gatherings and small groups at different venues. Several people were baptised and confirmed at a recent service at St Chad and St Mark in Penn Fields.
The Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Rev Clive Gregory, said: Over several years Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries has established itself as an innovative and inclusive community that works across church boundaries to engage and serve young adults. Breaking new ground is never easy, so its wonderful that their hard work has been recognised in this way.
The CFF award ceremony sought to identify and award the best of church and Christian social action projects, which are making a significant difference to thousands of people in communities all across Britain.
It was supported by Christian grant makers in the UK such as the Joseph Rank Trust, Laing Family Trust and Lancaster Foundation, who together with other members grant more than 30 million a year to Christian work.
Matt Bird, Chair of the CFF and ceremony host, said: Christian grant makers in the UK are increasingly working together to provide support and encourage excellence in Christian mission. In light of this every year the CFF awards will continue to identify and award the best of church and Christian social action projects, which are making a significant difference to thousands of people in communities all across Britain.
Photo credit: Alex Whittle