A new phase of ministry in Devonshire Ward:
The trustees of Eastbourne Christian Resources CIO (ECR) and Kingdom Way Trust (KWT) are very pleased to announce a new era in the use of 91-93 Seaside Road. They have agreed upon a plan to ensure that the furtherance of the Christian Gospel and advancement of the Christian faith in the Devonshire Ward of Eastbourne continues into the future.
Since 1949 there has been a Christian Resource Centre operating from 91-93 Seaside. The sale of Christian Books, Bibles and other resources flourished through many turbulent times. However in recent years it has become increasingly more difficult to sustain a retail operation.
Along with much of the ‘High Street’ the Eastbourne Christian Resource Centre has been significantly impacted by the change to ‘online’ shopping and diminishing footfall into the shop. The repeated lockdowns in 2020 disrupted trading and brought into focus the concerns the ECR trustees had about continuing retail operations.
It was clear that the charity could not continue to sustain the trading losses incurred by the bookshop in the last few years, and so it was with some sadness that the Trustees agreed to cease trading operations at the end of January 2022.
The issue for the ECR trustees, having taken this decision, was what to do with the freehold property which the charity owned, and from which the bookshop operated.
Around this time KWT indicated that they were looking for a suitable premises as a weekend drop-in venue for homeless and vulnerable people in the town. In addition, KWT needed additional space for private appointments; collaborative work with other agencies; support and recovery groups; Alpha Courses; a meeting place and hub for the benefit of those they work with.
The trustees of both charities recently met to explore a way forward, which would be in line with the aims and objectives of both charities. The board of KWT trustees indicated that the building would indeed be suitable for the projects they had in mind. The board of
ECR trustees determined that the vision of KWT would ensure a continuing Christian presence in this area of the town and agreed in principle to pass the freehold of the property onto KWT, subject to Charity Commission approval.
Bob Clark, Chair of the ECR Trustees said;
“We are excited to be able to ‘hand on the baton’ to Kingdom Way Trust, in the progression of Christian ministry from the Christian Resource Centre premises, after so many fruitful years. Their vision for building God’s Kingdom is the same as ours – one life at a time”.
David Barratt, Chair of KWT Trustees commented;
“We would like to express our deep gratitude for this wonderful gesture. This exciting opportunity has been presented to us through the “gifting” of the Seaside premises to KWT, for the furtherance of Christian charitable work in our Town. We are truly humbled by this. All involved at KWT share the same desire as the ECR trustees to see people restored, renewed and transformed. The strategic proximity of the building, to many of those we seek to help, means that lives will continue to be impacted and changed through these premises which have been part of the work of God in the town for over 70 years”.
The two groups of trustees will now work together to ensure a smooth and speedy transfer to allow KWT to begin the new phase of Christian ministry at 91-93 Seaside sometime in 2022.
The Eastbourne Christian Resource Centre will continue retail operations through the Christmas period and into January before finally closing its doors on 31st January 2022.