Building News – Phase 2


On Saturday 25th February 2017 the newly built Oak Tree Centre had an additional 33 trees added to their grounds to complete the landscaping of the first phase of this £3million community church development.  The community were all invited to help come and plant a tree and all children were given free sunflower plants to take away and grow at home.

The Oak Tree Centre café was open to offer hot lunches, coffees, teas, snacks and great cakes!

There were a wide range of activities on offer for children, in addition to helping their parents plant the new trees and the morning included great new facilities for children and café users to try out in the courtyard.

A delighted Jo Franceschini who runs our Acorns Children’s group for parents and babies/toddlers at the centre added:  “The project will make the space into a usable courtyard that will provide opportunities to offer activities for children that parents may not do so much at home.  Activities such as Messy Play, Water Play, crafts using materials found outdoors etc. Also this safe outdoor area will be fantastic to encourage children to enjoy more physical activities that require more space than we can offer indoors.”

Having secured a grant of £5,400 from the DHL UK Foundation, a team of volunteers both from DHL and the church prepared the ground the day before for the planting of the trees.  A team also assembled the outdoor furniture for the newly developed courtyard as well as new planters.  This has created a really attractive new community space that is ideally located adjacent to Shenley Brook End School.

Shenley Christian Fellowship own and manage The Oak Tree Centre, and run a wide range of programmes for the community at the prestigious venue.  The Fellowship also use the facility for church meetings on a Sunday morning and evening.

The Oak Tree Centre – Phase 2

Phase 2 has already received planning permission for a major sports hall, which will double up as a 400 seater auditorium.  It also intends to have a youth centre area on the south western side nearest Shenley Brook End school. This element is as a direct result of the outcomes of community door-to-door surveys carried out in the past within the districts of Westcroft and Shenley Brook End.  The need for youth facilities, particularly out of school hours was seen as one of the top requirements of any new community focussed building.  This will complement the work already undertaken by our youth staff members and volunteers.
Phase 2 will also have showers, toilet facilities, some storage for chairs and staging, two additional small meeting rooms and connecting corridors that will enclose the central courtyard feature.

It will provide the opportunity for local people to come and play badminton, to rent the facility for larger events and be a facility to other organisations who wish to host their own gatherings.  It will be ideal for concerts, drama productions and celebrations.  It will also be used by the fellowship for their Sunday meetings, as our numbers grow.

At the same time, an extra 37 car parking spaces will be provided and a new entrance put in along Wallinger Drive to provide alternative access.

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