The Needs of the Community


The plans for our Reshaping Our Resources project provide for a flexible, multi-purpose space available to the whole community and capable of accommodating all of the following identified needs:

  • activities to promote social inclusion and counteract isolation, including a much-needed lunch club
  • counselling rooms for activities such as debt advice and Alcoholics Anonymous
  • parents and toddlers’ group
  • parenting classes
  • bereavement groups
  • internet facilities for education and training, network meetings, crossgenerational skills-sharing
  • additional tourist information point
  • tea dances
  • mens’ breakfast
  • bookable space for music lessons
  • dance classes
  • dementia café
  • a green space with insect-friendly landscaping for the community and large number of visitors to relax in
  • a hospitality point for tourists and pilgrims
  • focussed youth work
  • medium-sized concert venue for Swaledale Festival, Leyburn Band etc.
  • holiday clubs
  • a base for the Good Neighbours’ Scheme
  • a venue for lectures – faith and secular

In light of these identified needs we want to create a single level building that offers;

  • a flexible, multi-purpose space in the nave
  • additional seating for concerts and large occasional offices
  • an area to house additional toilets
  • a welcome zone and office
  • a pilgrim chapel for our many visitors
  • spaces for seminars, private consultation and teaching
  • catering facilities

The facilities for worship and private prayer are fully protected and in many ways enhanced.
The provision of a pilgrim chapel will ensure a quiet space at all times, something much appreciated by our many visitors. The layout of the interior will allow for large gatherings including weddings, baptisms  and funerals and the sense of the sacred will be conserved .

Conscious of the need to reduce our carbon footprint, St. Matthew’s will provide a hub for shared administration, on-line training facilities, video-conferencing etc. for community groups and churches in the area, minimising the need for travel to venues outside of Wensleydale.

“This is an excellent project which will have long-term benefits for the church and for the town. I look forward to using the church and its new facilities for Swaledale Festival events.”

Malcolm Creese,
Artistic Director, Swaledale Festival