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Church helps to Transform Eyesore 

A church’s desire to show God’s love in its community has resulted in the transforming of a local eyesore
As recently as the middle of March the open piece of land near Worcester Park rail station was overgrown, littered and damaged after past maintenance work.

Thanks to Worcester Park Baptist Church the land now looks a different proposition – tidied up, landscaped and brimming with new flowers and shrubs.
The work has been achieved by a small army of volunteers and in partnership with Kingston Council.

It came about after the church wanted to do something for the community in time for Easter.

Lucy Wright, the church’s associate minister, said, ‘We wanted to express God’s love in Worcester Park in a very practical way, and by partnering with others.

‘We came up with the idea of clearing this piece of ground near the station, which is near the church.

‘It’s a piece of land that is used by a lot of people who are using the station each day.’

Lucy and John Smith – the congregation member from whom the idea originated – met officers at Kingston. The council was supportive of the plans, organising some of the tidying up to be done by those on the youth offending register, with Lucy and others serving coffee and cake as they worked. It also laid a new path.

For its part the church arranged two volunteer days, cutting back trees, restoring flower beds and planting. Each involved around 20 members and attracted favourable comments from passers-by.

The church is delighted with the result and the connections made.

‘We think it’s a massive improvement,’ said Lucy. ‘Lots of people worked really hard.

‘We had some really good comments from people passing by, with people saying “Doesn’t it make the place look brighter!” It was an opportunity to tell them where we are and what we are about.

‘And it was really heartening that the council was very accommodating. We felt the whole community was engaged.’

The church subsequently received permission from Kingston Council to place a cross in the area between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Lucy added that Worcester Park is looking for other ways to engage with the community.
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