Our building is open daily for private prayer, but the hall is used by a wide variety of groups. Building a new hall, at a cost of almost £350,000 in 2009, we were determined that the new facility would be available to community groups for functions, staff training, conferences and bread and butter daily use. It was named St Augustine’s Community Hall, for that is what it is.
Users are part of the St Augustine’s family, as we work together to build a better community in the centre of Dumbarton. We have all sorts of groups in residence, many caring for the marginalised, with little or no resources. Other groups can pay and help to keep the hall running for those who can’t!
We enjoy conference facilities in a three-roomed facility, plus office, and can provide a projector and laptops with internet connection. The kitchen can cater for large and small groups alike.
Amongst others, our bookings include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Alternatives/FAST (Drug Intervention and Recovery Programme)
- Food For Thought
- Amnesty International
- The Richmond Fellowship
- Community Voice
- Stepping Stones
- Age Concern
- Dumbarton United Football Club
- Community Carers Groups
- And much more, depending on the season!
Whatever day of the week our hall rooms seem to be buzzing with people and groups – and it’s wonderful for us to be able to provide the community with good facilities in which they can meet, chat and support each other. Some of our hall users pay and some don’t, according to their means, but whether they do or not, it is important to see them as part of the St Augustine’s family.
An important part of outreach into the community is our food-bank and support service called Food For Thought. Food poverty is now a common problem amongst so many in our area, and we often feed 50 – 60 people each week.
On Fridays, we serve lunches to the community at an affordable price (Noon -1.30pm), and Saturday Coffee Mornings are always there come rain or shine! (10am – 12)
There are many other groups too who pay us a fair rent and provide a wonderful service to the young and old of Dumbarton and West Dunbartonshire. The Richmond Fellowship provide a safe and friendly space for those struggling with their mental health. And Community Voice, a choir for carers and sufferers of dementia, makes a joyful and musical sound every fortnight!
The Diocese and the Province of the SEC have used our premises for training sessions and committee meetings. Dumbarton Churches Together also use our hall for their meetings.
Dumbarton United Football Club, which organises various youth football teams and initiatives, meets regularly, and we are pleased to support them.
However, it’s some of the other groups that are of, perhaps, greater interest.
Narcotics Anonymous now run a weekly group, and AA are still present on a Thursday evening.
Alternatives use our premises for staff training and also for an occasional support group for families of drug misusers.
The Community Council use our facilities for their meetings, and they, too, are very welcome, tackling child poverty issues and making a difference.
Organisations are catching on to the fact that we provide excellent conference facilities, and there have been various enquiries about that.
We still seem to have enough space to hold our own events, Friends, Cursillo, and Friday Soup and Saturday Coffee, a vital part of our ministry, continues to go ahead.
As the new season begins to get underway, more groups and charities will join us, although we are fast filling up to capacity!
What we need to do is avoid the temptation of an “Us & Them” mentality. We need to be working towards a St Augustine’s family situation where we feel we share in each other’s work and concerns, and be unafraid to promote the fact that there is a spiritual element to this family which prays for it all and in fact upholds the whole operation in prayer.
Forming strong links and friendships is vital, and may actually help us to invite some of our non-church family to services and other congregational events. This is Service. It’s also Mission!