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, flipchart, and laptops with internet connection. The kitchen can cater for large and small groups alike.
Amongst others, our bookings include:
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Community Councils
- Tenants Association
- Stepping Stones
- Community Voice Choir
- And much more, depending on the season!
Most 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.
Community Soup is available on Wednesday from 12 noon until 1pm. Everyone is welcome and can give a donation if they wish.
Saturday Coffee Mornings are always there come rain or shine! (10am – 12 noon)
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. 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.
However, it’s some of the other groups that are of, perhaps, greater interest.
Narcotics Anonymous now run a weekly group, and CA are present on a Wednesday evening.
The Community Councils 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 Saturday Coffee, a vital part of our ministry, continues to go ahead.
As the pandemic begins to case, 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!