St John's Parish Church, Ludlow, is to date the most recently created parish church in the Hereford Diocese - this at a time when the trend is towards amalgamating rather than separating neighbouring parishes. Up until July 1st 2016, St. John's, consecrated in 1881 as a chapel of ease, was attached to the parish church of St. Laurence and was answerable to that church's P.C.C. and wardens for everything legal. Now we are able to develop in ways identified by our mission action plan, our vision for the future of the church of St. John within its new parish area.
Although not listed, St. John's is an impressive neo-gothic building capable at its full capacity of holding over 300 people in its present state. Situated on Gravel Hill, a main road into the town, it is well placed, being on a bus route and close to the railway station. It is also within walking distance for the majority of the people in the parish, many of whom live in the Sandpits area, and have young families with children attending Ludlow Infants' school and Ludlow Junior School. There is however a good social mix and demography, with sheltered housing for retirees, three residential homes and a community hospital, all of which come within our boundary.
In order to develop a distinctive contribution to God’s mission in Ludlow we have looked carefully at the CTAL [Churches Together Around Ludlow] 2012 Report, ‘Ludlow Under Pressure’, identifying practical ways in which we, as a church can share the good news of God’s love. We wish to serve the people of our local neighbourhood, particularly the elderly, young people and families under pressure. We envisage our church building as a multi-use Christian Community building, a ‘hub’ open throughout the week, ministering to people in need through mind, body and spirit. We picture growing collaborative lay ministries among all-age congregations, working with local people and groups and reaching out in partnership with ‘Hands Together Ludlow’ and ‘Living Waters Christian Fellowship’.
CURRENT STATE OF PLANNING
Over the last two years we have prayed about and planned for the time when we can make our own decisions. The time has now come and the onus is now on us to turn plans into reality. Firstly we have appointed an architect to reconfigure the interior of the church so that it can be adapted to the community needs we have identified. We have secured lottery funding for this. This is where we are at now. Next we shall have to look for prospective project funders and continue and increase where possible, our own giving. These are exciting but challenging times.