Creating a prosperous future for the Tabernacle
The Tabernacle was almost lost to the community of Pembroke. At the turn of the century the congregration was dwindling and the facilities used by the private nursery were designated not fit for purpose. This left the very future of this iconic Pembroke church up for question.
A number of options were explored for the future of the Tabernacle. A feasibility study presented the idea that the building should be preserved by converting it into residential accommodation with the prospect of the developer leaving a small space for worship that remained open to the public.
These events became a catalyst for change and galvanised a united spirit amongst the church members who held a stubborn belief that the church must survive.
The church began to focus, not only sustaining their work, but on expanding their reach. This lead to exciting new projects to bring the community to the centre of the church. A member set up an Art Group and Pembroke 21C began to use the Tabernacle as a space to display the ‘Dolly Mixtures’ project which was working to create a record of the businesses and people living and working on Main Street through the previous century. This began the church’s new journey to become a community space and to celebrate and promote the history of Pembroke.
Since then the Church has hosted regular gatherings of the community which has involved into initiatives including the ‘Pembroke Story’. A unique project that invites people to share and preserve the oral and pictoral histories of the people living in Pembroke.
Bringing the community to the church reinforced the passion of its members leading to more people exploring the church, people were welcomed with a drink and a cake and importantly the congregation started to grow. Janet Drogan, a church member described the time by saying “we felt surrounded by our Community in Worship; There was an increase in footfall; There was a chance to welcome people and to give them a drink and a cake; The congregation started to grow - At times the Spirit was tangible.”
With renewed confidence we produced a Mission Plan using the 2020 Statements for Mission:
- Continuing the work of the Art Group (Statement 10)
- Further developing the Pembroke Story at Tabernacle (Statements’ 4,5)
- Developing the proposed Community Garden with Pembroke 21C (Statements' 1,4,10)
- Building on our relationship with the Nursery (Statement 4)
- Developing a Concert Programme to encourage up and coming musicians and vocalists from our community
This Mission then enabled us to grasp the opportunity to look at our buildings for use in the community and thereby take up the challenge to be an open church.
Open Day, and Open Doors Celebration Service - A Big Thank you!
Wow! Both Events were a great success.
The Tabernacle URC featured a school room ever since it was rebuilt in 1867. The Sunday School was a central part of the church up until the 1960’s. We are now lucky enough to have a Kindergarten operating from ...
The Art and the Craft Groups re-start in the new building
The Art Group will now be held every Wednesday from 1pm to 3ish whilst the Craft Group meet on Fridays at 2pm
Who did Revd. John Bowen Marry in the 50's?
Revd John Bowen, mentioned in the History of the Church, is brought to life by a photo shared by his daughter Havina.
Experimental Afternoon Teas at Foundry House
First steps towards a surplus food cafe ?