St. Martin’s Centre was built upon the site of the old St. Martin’s Church which had existed since it was founded in 1933. However, by the end of the nineties St. Martin’s Church faced an uncertain future with the depopulation of Byker and the Indices of Multiple Deprivation being some of the lowest in the country (in the worst 10%). This, combined with a shrinking church congregation meant that changes were needed.
After various consultations with the community, it was decided to rebuild the church but with the addition of a community centre and a nursery for local people on site. This led to the new building being officially opened in 2006, with a much brighter, modern building for the whole of the community. In the church today, there is a dedicated chapel area with a beautiful stained glass window for quiet reflection and meditation alongside a fully functioning nursery offering high quality childcare.
Today we have a thriving partnership of community centre, nursery, cafe, children’s centre and church, all on the same site, open 5 days a week for community activities.
The main community room spaces in the centre are flexible and can be altered to be either smaller or larger due to dividing walls and so can fit anything from community meetings and groups right up to larger fairs and events, with a good sized upstairs room with wooden flooring and lift access.
In times of recent economic cutbacks and uncertainty, St. Martin’s Centre has continued to grow and provide even more services for the residents of Byker and Walker. We face the future with optimism and a sense of vigour.
Find out about our funders and partnerships here.