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I am delighted to have been invited to write the forward to this Evaluation Report on the work that is taking place in Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre in Ashton under Lyne.

Holy Trinity Church is set in one of the most challenging areas of Tameside. The statistics set out in the Background section of this report speak for themselves and describe a community living with significant deprivation and a range of long term needs.

The Christian Church is about hope and transformation: the transformation of both lives and communities. The vision and aim of the Diocese of Manchester is to be a worshipping, serving and transforming Christian presence at the heart of every community. This involves responding to human need through loving service and transforming the unjust structures of our society – two of the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion. It is this vision that is at the heart of what Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre seeks to be and to do.

For over a quarter of a century now, the people of Holy Trinity have been working in partnership with others in a specific way to alleviate need and address some of the issues facing the local community. This has been done through the creation of the Community Centre which is now a very established and successful community resource whose work is documented in this report and whose activities have been recognised and praised by the local council, the local police and a range of local and national funding bodies.

The following report tells its own story. It is a story that speaks of vision, patient commitment and determination, and belief in the power of local people to work together to create a community where all can flourish, if they are supported with the resources to do so. It is for this reason that I wholeheartedly endorse Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre’s application to the Big Lottery for funding.

My own hope and prayer is that we will find ways of enabling this good news story to continue. For Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre is nothing less than the means by which this particular community will secure a hopeful future.

The Venerable Cherry Vann

Archdeacon of Rochdale