In October 2014 we had a phone call out of the blue and were offered a building in the city centre completely for free. We had been praying for more resources, particularly storage for stuff for people in need as we’d been running out of space in people’s cellars and spare bedrooms so this was an amazing result!
Our building, formerly called the Wilkins Memorial Hall (now the Wilkins Centre) was built with money from the sale of a church called the Theatre Gospel Hall which was run by two generations of the Wilkins family including William Wilkins who served as mayor in 1913, and is credited as first suggesting a ring road and the River Gardens. The Theatre Gospel Hall was essentially a church for the poor, had three services every Sunday and fed 9000 meals to needy children each year. The trustees of this charitable trust (including Williams Wilkin’s grandson) felt that Derby Vineyard had similar aims and purposes and decided to hand the building and trust over to us.
In a weird twist Andrew told the church about the Wilkins Memorial Hall during a service we had in the Iberico restaurant which is in the same building the Theatre Gospel Hall was in. The restaurant was booked long before the connection between the two buildings became apparent.
Currently we use the centre to run ‘Talk English’ a project to teach basic English to refugees as well as the other usual church small groups, band rehearsals, prayer meetings and storing stuff for people in neeed. We believe that God has given us this building for the community and that many exciting projects reaching out to people in need will begin there.
To hire the Wilkins Centre or for more information contact Jane on 07870 402 230.