1,580 Turn Out for Leeds HelpCentre Launch
Addiction, Christian Church, Christian faith, family members and friends, Outreach, patient care,
Wednesday 4th February 2015
Both auditoriums at the new UCKG HelpCentre in Leeds were filled to capacity three times over, when the centre opened its doors to the local community for the first time on Saturday, January 31.
Led by Bishop Celso Junior
, who heads the UCKG HelpCentre in the UK, the launch comprised three inauguration services spread over the day. The Leeds congregation was there in force along with family members and friends
, and supporters representing most of the 27 UCKG HelpCentre branches in this country.
The occasion marked the completion of six years’ hard work searching for a suitable property and an intensive refurbishment programme at the former retail warehouse at 12 Regent Street, Leeds LS2. Besides the auditoriums seating 350 and 150 people, high quality facilities have been created for the UCKG HelpCentre’s youth and community outreach groups, and for children whose parents are visiting the HelpCentre.
Bishop Junior stated: “The investment on this building is worth every penny because lives will be transformed and you can’t put a figure on that. The building was built with love and now the congregation has a place to call its own after years in hired halls.”
Members of the Leeds congregation
were delighted with their new premises. Luke Spillane said: “I am very impressed with the quality of the new church and with the thought that has gone into the building. I was very happy for my grandparents who came along to the opening to see me testify about how my life has transformed since attending the UCKG.”
Edna Bilala, a volunteer with RAHAB added: “Here in Leeds, the meetings used to be held in an office-like building, and sometimes we couldn’t even meet on Bank Holidays. Now we have a beautiful HelpCentre with all the necessary facilities. I am extremely excited!”
Describing itself as ‘far more than a church’, the UCKG HelpCentre aims to provide practical, emotional and spiritual support for all-comers. Help is available on purely secular lines or may be faith-based, to suit individual preferences, and is offered on a one to one basis or via the outreach groups.
The groups comprise Caleb for seniors aged 55+; Patient Care that provides hospital and home visits for the sick; RAHAB, that comforts and supports domestic abuse victims
; and Rescue of Dignity (ROD) for current and past prisoners and their families. VYG provides a lot of fun for 15-25 year olds, while encouraging them to get a good start in life and achieve their full potential.
“We are here for anyone who is seeking a new start in life, whatever their situation,” said Pastor Robert Gomes, who is in charge at Leeds HelpCentre. “I am very excited about working with the community and sharing with them all the good works we do.”
He added that first timers came in to the inauguration services “out of curiosity and left completely amazed at what they saw”. In other instances, people who’d had past contact with the UCKG HelpCentre but were unaware of its presence in Leeds, happily resumed contact. Three police officers
who were patrolling the area dropped in towards the end of the day, to be impressed by the work that had gone into the building, and interested in ongoing contact with the HelpCentre’s community works.
Notes to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.