Brief history of our mission to the community

Dawlish URC is superbly situated as the only church in The Strand, the main shopping street of our town. (The only other church in the town centre is the Methodist Church.) Our large building with spacious foyer is well used by the community for social events, meetings, concerts and a host of other activities.

There have been three decisive reports which have enabled us to discern our special calling from God and shape our future plans.

The first is Charting a New Course  It was prepared by Revd Paul Snell (at the time the Synod Evangelism Enabler) who spent a weekend with us in spring 2006 and produced his Consultancy Report based on that and conversations with the Church Meeting. A summary of the document is available by clicking here. His detailed recommendations focused round the opportunities provided by our town centre situation; our links with many town organisations; and our developing prayer and healing ministry. For fuller information click on the links at the bottom of this page.

Proposals for implementing the recommendations in Charting a New Course emerged from discussion in the Elders Meeting in the second document, Prospects for the Future. This was adopted by the congregation on 20 April 2008. This set out a general approach to our mission task and laid down a timetable for the implementation of specific goals arising from Charting.

The third document is Plans for the Future which summarised the earlier documents to explain to the community the church’s intentions.

Forming a partnership with the community
We believe that because of our position, God is guiding us to offer Dawlish a community resources in the town centre. We have, therefore, formed a partnership with community organisations by creating The Strand Community Trust (a charitable limited company) to whom we have leased the building so that it can be run as a community centre, providing accommodation for organisations and a modern, worshipful space for our congregation.  For details click here.

We have detailed our vision in Our Plans for the Future, which has been widely welcomed.

We have already a long term strategy for radically adapting the building to make it more useful to the community, and in April 2011 we completed the first stage.

At the same time we changed our name to The Strand Church (URC), Dawlish to emphasise our commitment to the community, on The Strand at the heart of Dawlish. At the same time we changed our logo from an outline of the front of the building to people surrounding the building – we believe that the building exists for people outside the church as well as those inside.