Statement by the Trustees of Charter Street Mission for the BBC television programme Inside Out
Charter Street’s Mission!
Charter Street Mission, Sunday school and working girls' home (originally known as Charter Street Ragged School and Working Girls Home) has been established since 14 February 1867. It was set up to provide Sunday school teaching, basic education, food and clothing to children who were too “ragged” to go to normal Sunday schools and church services. Fast forward 152 years, and we are still here delivering our objects through hosting King of Kings School and formerly Lifeshare on subsidised informal agreements.
So much has changed since the charity was established. We now have state funded schools, a Homelessness Charter for Manchester co-created by people experiencing homelessness, and organisations providing support to pool efforts to end homelessness, and according to Peter Brierley in his UK Church Statistics 2: 2010-2020 it’s forecasted that by 2020 we will have an estimated 51,275 churches
in the UK.
Changes have happened for us too. The building has deteriorated over the years and this was highlighted in a condition report (Autumn 2016). We knew that all our efforts and repairs were merely “suppressing symptoms” and not bringing a cure. It was agreed that the building was not fit for purpose and we communicated this to our tenants along with our intention to carry out significant building works (January 2017). The Charity has very little income and the rising costs of maintaining and running a building means that we are at the point where we need to make decisions. Charity and Building laws and regulations have also changed quite significantly and now more than ever we need to be sure that we carry out our legal duties of Compliance, Care and Prudence. The Charity must remain solvent and manage an asset which is safe and fit for purpose. We have strengthened our trustee board recently and we have had some really challenging and productive meetings.
The good news was, that the Trustees secured the investment and expertise needed to start the building work on Charter Street’s Mission. The building works began in March. The building was awarded Grade 2 listing in autumn 2019. However, this is a marathon and not a sprint.
We will keep you all updated throughout the process. We are very excited about what we can achieve in the future. To ensure that we remain relevant to our beneficiaries needs; we will be carrying out various public engagement activities while the building work is happening to help inform our vision for the future. At the centre of the vision will be the growth of a vibrant Christian community.