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Chairman’s Report for the Exchange Project AGM on Tuesday 9th October 2018


What’s been happening at the Exchange Project

The Burnley and Pendle youth Fellowship (BPYF) continue to meet on a Sunday evening. At present between 4 and 8 teenagers attend with 2 to 5 young adults who play a major part in leading the group.  There are regular visits to young people’s annual conferences including Soul Survivor and 3Generate.

Occasional events have been held targeted at young people, such as the Philippa Hanna concert (100 people, all ages) and a visit by the local Pais team (50 young people).

Friday club is attended by 8 to 12 children, mostly unchurched and includes a monthly ‘Family Night’ (Messy Church).

A Toddle into Church group started last September and has between 8 and 12 pre-school children bringing with them as many carers.  A short Bible story and cartoon are shown each week which introduces toddlers (and Carers) to church.

The Exchange Project hosted the annual tour of the National Methodist Brass Band which other churches in the circuit were able to use to good effect.

The Circuit Worship Group currently rehearses with us.

In partnership with Transforming Communities in Pendle (TCP) we provide a Community Lunch each Thursday where we get an average of about 20 diners.  We have recently made some changes to the lunch to try to enhance its appeal to the wider community.  This is supported by Awards For All funding.

St John’s has a friendship group which provides a weekly coffee morning.

The Exchange Project provides a free outdoor stage and bands for the annual Colne Rhythm and Blues Festival and was official included in the council’s program of events this year.  Hundreds of people stopped to listen to the two bands perform.

We have partnered with ‘Building Bridges’ and St Bartholomew’s in staging a community day on a Sunday afternoon aimed at the people of Waterside.  Around 50 people were attracted by the drumming and free food.

Last Christmas we successfully held a Christmas Tree Festival which we will hold again this year, hopefully with the inclusion of local school choirs.

 Maintenance News


With money from the circuit we have installed a wireless fire alarm system.  We need to investigate what emergency lighting is required.


The basement rooms has been redecorated and carpeted and new storage cupboards built with funding from the Lancashire Initiative Fund.


The vestry wall on Church Street has been silicon treated and this appears to have fixed the leaking in the vestry.

The kitchen has been refurbished to meet environmental standards and a five star food hygiene rating has been granted.


The cobbles under the fire escape have been removed and concrete laid but unfortunately this has not solved the problem of water getting into the basement cleaning cupboard.

 Maintenance This Year (3rd)

 It would be great to be able to get an outside door built into the Sand Room to enable wheelchair and pushchair access to the basement rooms. We have had a quote for about £8,000 for this work.

It has been recommended that we disconnect the stage lighting and replace it with a LED system.  I expect to receive a quote for this in the next couple of weeks.  We also need to investigate changing the lights in the lounge and also in the hall.

General Overview

After a very successful first year for the project, the second year has proven to be more difficult.  I feel that the enthusiasm for the project from the circuit has waned.  We have found it difficult to get volunteers to assist at events and our attempts to get more people onto the Exchange Project management group have so far been unsuccessful.

I believe it is critical that we get more volunteers from the circuit to help with the Exchange Project, not only at events but also on the management team and worship team.  This is especially important after the decision at the September circuit meeting to decide on the future of the Exchange Project at the next circuit meeting in December.

Thanks to Jill and Dave Dugdale for their hard work on room bookings and the finances.

Thanks again to John Horsfall for all his maintenance work and special thanks to Marjorie Terry, not only for her work in the garden (the crocuses looked great in the spring sunshine), but for all the painting she has done around the building.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have worked so hard during the year at all the events.

Finally I would like to respond to comments I heard at the recent circuit meeting.

We are not desperate for money.  Two years ago the Circuit gave us a seed fund of £2,000.  At the end of the first year we had about £4,800 in the bank and at the end of the second year about £6,800.  Apart from a circuit donation of £5,000 which enabled us to install a fire alarm system (to meet fire regulations) the Exchange Project, from the start, has been self financing.  The Exchange Project does not do fund raising, we hold events to further our aims; ‘to offer a variety of events for learning and service, stand as a clearly identifiable Christian centre and enable us to take every opportunity to talk about God.’   The money raised, incidentally, from events has not been required for the running of the Exchange Project.

At the present time there is no reason to remove the pews from the Church.  There is no current requirement for extra space to be made available on the ground floor.  On the other hand there is a good reason to install an outside door in the basement for access for disabled users and prams/pushchairs.   This would enable us to have two groups meeting at the same time.  Slimming World have a number of disabled members who cannot attend sessions held in the basement and prams and pushchairs for Toddle into Church have to be left unattended on the ground floor.

Chairman’s Report for the Exchange Project AGM 2016 – 2017

It has been a successful first year for the Exchange Project.  This is due to all the hard work put in by all the volunteers. 

Financially we have managed to be self sufficient and not had to rely on the Circuit for extra funds. Thanks must go to Pat Dickinson for controlling our finances so well.  Our income from Room Rentals has increased over the year.  Thanks to Jill Dugdale for her hard work getting new clients and ensuring contracts are agreed and signed. 

A lot of maintenance work has been done over this first year.  So thanks to Jim Dickinson and John Horsfall for their hard work.  We have started decorating the Exchange Street entrance and repainting the woodwork and radiators in the basement.  Thanks to Marjorie Terry for her decorating skills. The garden on Exchange Street is looking much better.  Thanks to Hazel and David Edmondson for this.   Next Spring, look out for the crocuses around the trees on the lawn courtesy of Marjorie.

Maintenance News

All major items from last year’s Quinquennial have been completed.

A fire risk assessment has been done and, apart from an alarm system and emergency lighting, all recommendations have been carried out.

An electrical assessment has been done and all recommendations completed.

A Health and Safety Risk assessment has been done and all major issues rectified.

A number of changes have been made to the kitchen to meet environmental health standards and we are now ready for our council inspection.

 Second year

We are currently getting quotes to have the Chapel Street side of the building re-pointed to stop the leaking in the vestries.

We are also getting quotes to have the cobbles under the fire door and steps tarmac’d over to prevent further leaks in the basement.

In order to open up the basement rooms to prams and disabled access, we have had plans drawn up and are getting quotes for an outside door from the Sand Room onto School Street.

We plan to get all the lighting cables on the stage checked to ensure they are safe.

A grant has been applied for to help the Toddle into Church group get a new carpet in the first basement room, some large storage cupboards and a television. 

News from the Exchange Project – 24th July 2017

We are in the process of decorating the Exchange Street entrance and the kitchen. Thanks to John Horsfall for fitting the kitchen lights and other jobs.  We still need to paint the skirting boards and rails and do something with the floor.

In the basement, Marjorie Terry has painted all the doors and frames so a big thank-you to her.

We are also looking at ways to brighten up the outside of the building and maybe get some banners and repair or replace the notice board.

 The Thursday Community Lunch continues with between 20 and 30 people each week enjoying a two course meal and unlimited brews for £4.  We are hoping more people will come as word spreads. It would be great to see more people there which will generate a better atmosphere and maybe encourage more people from the area around the Church to try it out.

14th September – Thursday afternoon is the start of a weekly Parent and Toddler Group to be held in one of the basement rooms.  Offers of help would be appreciated.

News from the Exchange Project –17th June 2017

Over the next month or two we plan to brighten up the Exchange Street entrance and corridor with a fresh coat of paint.

The Kitchen is almost ready for us to register with the Council’s Environmental Health Department for the Thursday Community Lunch.

 About eighty people attended a very interesting talk from Harry Shaw on Healing and Prophecy.  We are looking at having more speakers in the future.

 Future Events for your diary.....

 26th August – Saturday - we will be opening the building for the Colne Blues Festival.   There will be band playing and tea, coffee and cakes will be on sale.   Please let us know if you can help on the day or, maybe, bake a cake or two.

 23rd September – Saturday – we will be holding a second hand baby fair.   Donations of second hand babies will be gratefully received but we also plan to have stalls selling baby clothes or toys.  Please contact us if you know anyone who might like to book a table or can help on the day.

 15th & 16th December – Friday & Saturday – we will be holding a Christmas Tree Festival.  The church will be full of decorated Christmas trees and should be a brilliant spectacle.  We plan to open on Friday evening with a choir and the switch on of the lights (coffee and mince pies will be served.) 

On Saturday we hope to have school choirs performing and then have a closing service at about 4 pm where the prize for the best decorated tree will be presented.

Please let us know if you can help on either of these days or provide mince pies.

 The Exchange Project is run by the circuit for all churches within the circuit and we depend on the support and prayers of all. 

Many thanks for the help and prayers we have received so far, it is really appreciated.

News from the Exchange Project –15th May 2017

Thanks to everyone who has supported the project over the past few months.  Your time spent volunteering and praying for the project is vital for its success.

Since the last magazine we have held a table top sale that attracted a number of stall holders and many local residents to see if they could pick up a bargain.  

On the Bank Holiday we hosted nearly 50 PAIS workers and young people from around the country.  They organised litter picking, games, face painting and free hot chocolate.  Unfortunately it was very quiet in Colne that day but they all had a very enjoyable time and met some of the people in the neighbourhood.

The 40’s/50’s night was great success with dancing to the Swing City Big Band plus a very nice supper. 

The Thursday community lunch is going strong with up to 30 people enjoying a two course meal for £4.  The games afternoon after the lunch has not really taken off yet.

We have a number of possible future events in the pipeline such as a talk on Healing from Harry Shaw after one of the community lunches, an evening with Philippa Hanna one Sunday evening as well as another Table Top Sale and ‘doing something’ at the Colne Cycling Weekend,  the Colne Food Festival  and the Colne Blues Festival.   We might even think about providing CHAMPING during the Colne festivals!!!    Please keep a look out to see what’s happening at the Exchange.  What about joining the Fundraising and Events Committee?

The Management Team have been asked a number of times about our vision for the future of the Exchange Project and how will it be accomplished?

Our vision is to create a new way of being Church for a younger generation which can help them to encounter and celebrate the love of God.   We aim to stand as a clearly identifiable Christian centre whose influence will reach out into the town centre and surrounding areas. To do this we first need a building that is fit for purpose and we have been working hard getting the building to meet Government as well as Methodist regulations with regards to health and safety and food hygiene.

We also need to ensure the project is financially viable.  We are now just about breaking even and do not expect to have to go back to Circuit this year to ask for extra funding. We need to run events that respond to the needs of local people and enable them to get involved in the project.  We have many ideas to do this; from a mother and toddler group, a homework or after-school club to a course on cooking on a budget. From this we believe that we can develop vibrant worship that is relevant to local people, allowing them to worship God in their own way. We know this will be a slow journey but by putting our trust in God together with your help and prayers we believe we can accomplish something special here in Colne.

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