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Men’s Shed at St Clement’s Church, Worcester

Published: 1st September 2022

The crypt at St Clements churchIt is hoped that the crypt at St Clement’s Church in Worcester will become the venue for a new ‘Men’s Shed’, enabling local men to come together, learn new skills and chat over a cup of coffee.

St Clement is on the West side of Worcester and was consecrated in 1823. It has a large crypt under the church which had been mainly used for storage. When a local group were looking for somewhere to set up a Men’s Shed, it seemed like the ideal use for the space and the church are now trying to fundraise to convert the area.

St Clement's ChurchChurchwarden, Philip Prince, said: “This is a major project for the church. We’re built on a hill, so the floor needs to be levelled as well as electricity and toilet facilities installed. We’ve also been working to identify any living relatives of the graves under the floor. We’re hoping to get National Lottery Community funding, but really need to get the group up and running first. A grant from the Bernard Sunley Foundation has enabled us to decorate and kit out the more modern entrance area of the crypt, which the group can use while we continue fundraising.”

Men’s Shed is an initiative from Australia, which aims to provide a support group for older men, giving them a safe space to talk about any issues and help combat loneliness. David Clark is setting up the Worcester group. He said:

“Evidence suggests that men are more likely to talk to each other if they’re standing shoulder to shoulder rather than sitting face to face. In a Men’s Shed there will be workbenches and tools for men to continue their hobby alongside others or learn a skill while making new friends. We’ll be taking on community projects as well as giving the opportunity to make individual items. There are now over 600 Men’s Sheds in the UK, and they are open to men of any age, but it tends to be those who have retired who come along. Age UK have been supporting us with this project, providing some funding and help with publicity.”

David is hoping to get the first part of the crypt kitted out so the group can open from September – initially on a Tuesday and Thursday. There will be a machinery room, a couple of work benches and a seating area where it will be possible to get tea and coffee.

“At the moment we’re working through all the paperwork and legal requirements. We’ve had lots of donations of equipment, which has been great. Once we’re fully set up, we also hope to open on other days as a community shed and perhaps hold crafting workshops, but it will just be good to get going to start with. We’re grateful to the church for working with us on the project and they’re charging us a peppercorn rent for the first year to see how things go. We hope that it will be a valuable space for local men – particularly those feeling lonely and isolated.”

Page last updated: Thursday 1st September 2022 11:03 AM

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