Hawkinge Baptist church 

Redecoration project

Nearly 20 years of use meant the church was looking tired, and the walls were peeling. We had holes in the walls from when people had been a bit exuberant bringing out the Hawkinge 2tables from our store cupboard, and we had put up posters using far too much Blu Tack!  The carpet was also looking rather worse for wear. In some ways we saw the wear and tear as a good sign as it meant the church was being used  in lots of different ways, but we knew we had to give it some tlc. 

As a small home mission church we did not have the funds to pay for such work outright and so we started to fundraise.  By March 2020 we had raised nearly £2500, but knew we had a long way to go. Then Covid and the lockdown hit and there were no more opportunities to raise money. The frustration was that being in a lockdown, when the church was closed, was the perfect time to decorate! Hawkinge 1

We approached SEBA to ask if they knew of any grants or loans we could access to allow us to redecorate the church and we were incredibly grateful and overwhelmed when SEBA gave us a grant to add to the money we had already raised.  This meant we could have the whole of the church repainted, all the holes filled in. All window ledges and windows cleaned, which may not sound much until you know one of our church walls is all windows and the ceiling is very, very high! We also had the carpet replaced with larger carpet tiles which will make life so much easier in the future.

We know that church is not the building, but we feel it has made such a difference when people come in.  Providing a bright, comfortable, clean place for people to come along to and feel at home in, is important to us. There was also something very special the first Sunday we were able to go back in the church after the last lockdown.  We had not met in the church for 16 months.  The redecoration and newness of the way the church looked helped to speak of new beginnings and a fresh start.  And it meant a huge amount to people both in the church and outside of it.