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Approaching the completion of Skainos

September 11, 2012

The front of the Skainos site

Since we arrived in Belfast last July, we have been observing the progress and anticipating the completion of a large redevelopment project called “Skainos”. And it is almost done! This facility will house the work and worship of East Belfast Mission, as well as a number of other partner tenants. Over 100 people will be living on-site, in a combination of our homelessness project, and both private and public housing apartments.

The pictures in this post were taken last week and give a better idea of what this space will look like.

Windows of Hosford – a homelessness project at EBM

As you look at them, it is important to remember the context of the surrounding community. This is a neighbourhood with high unemployment, low educational achievement for young people, and a legacy of conflict, prejudice, and violence that runs deep in the psyche of the residents. In one picture you can see a mural of a paramilitary gunman through the window. This is only one of several stark images nearby.

The completion of this building project is an important milestone in the life of East Belfast Mission. For the past 12 years, this vision has been developing and growing. For the past 2 and a half years, the activity of the mission has been in temporary accommodation during construction.

The sanctuary from the front

We have been borrowing and renting space in a few places across Belfast, and everyone has been looking forward to this season. As EBM seeks to continue serving the people in this community, this is a time of new partnerships and expanded possibility.

During these next couple of months, we would especially appreciate your prayers for the following:

Many children will be running around in this hall!

  • for endurance to get through all of the tasks associated with transition while still working to conduct weekly activities and remain open to the needs of people in the congregation and community.
  • for our SkainosFest event on October 19-20th, which is an opportunity shortly after we take possession of the building to open the facility wide to the community. Over two days, we are arranging a lot of children’s and youth activities, live dancing and music from a variety of cultures.

    A reminder of the context

    We pray this will be a successful introduction of this space to the community – that people feel they are safe and welcome in this space.

  • for the staff, congregation and community to be patient through both expected and surprising hardships that we encounter in the process of moving and settling into our new building. All of us are aware of the dreams, the expectations, and the responsibility that this major investment holds. Anticipation and excitement come with their share of tension and anxiety! May we be faithful with our time, and at the same time gracious with others through this move.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. brian burgess permalink
    September 11, 2012 4:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great news    our prayers are always with you and your staff there  Barbara Drew


  2. September 12, 2012 3:26 pm

    We will be praying for the special celebrations that are coming in Oct. I’ll put it on our prayer chain and also involve our Senior Friends, who ask about both of you and how you are doing there.

  3. Rob Herzog permalink
    September 13, 2012 1:19 am

    So exciting to see how God is working through you and so many. We will continue to pray for your endurance, the staff and the big event.

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