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Former Pulrose police house to be turned into a community centre

Reverend David Shirtliff outside the former Pulrose police house, in Pulrose Road, that can be transformed into a community centre

Reverend David Shirtliff outside the former Pulrose police house, in Pulrose Road, that can be transformed into a community centre

The old Pulrose police house will be transformed by the Methodist Church into a community centre.

Planning approval has been given for the building’s change of use, and a lease is being drawn up by Douglas Council to provide it for a nominal rent.

Reverend David Shirtliff, who has been the minister at Pulrose Methodist Church for nearly 10 years, said: ‘The vision is of a place of welcome, hospitality and support. We hope to have a prayer room and a board for prayer requests.’

The plan is to partner with other charities, churches, community groups and Manor Park School so the house can be used ‘for the good of the community’.

He has been overwhelmed by the level of support the project has already received.

Support has come from the Roman Catholic church, St Matthew’s Church of England and Elim Pentecostal church.

The Douglas Live at Home Scheme is looking at how the facility might be used to support its work with older people. And Manor Park head teacher Riss Forrester is keen for pupils to develop the garden around the house.

Mr Shirtliff said: ‘This time last year it was just a dream and a hope it might happen. Now we can see it’s going to come to fruition.’

He said: ‘Deep within the conviction of the Methodist Church is the conviction that good, strong communities are part of God’s vision for people.

‘The Methodist Church has a long history, in Britain and the wider world, of engaging with communities and partnering with others to help build those strong communities.’

He added: ‘We feel that Pulrose is an important place. We’ve had a church building on the estate since Pulrose was first built, we support the playgroup that is based there offering good quality childcare. Over the last four years there has been a growing work with children and young people at the church, including some community events.’

The hope is for the facility to open in the summer, with only a small amount of work required.

Meanwhile, funding has been secured from the Joseph Rank Trust and the Methodist Church for a full-time youth and community worker for Pulrose from September. The post will be advertised shortly.

Mr Shirtliff said: ‘Hopefully that person will be a catalyst for other groups and organisations working with people in Pulrose.

‘We have had gappers through the Scripture Union helping with our children and young people who come for about 10 months and then move on. While they have done a great job, we want to put someone in there who could build longer term relationships with children and young people.’

 

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