Six months after being swamped by water and forced to close by flash-flooding which hit the North West, the Parish of Glendermott and Newbuildings’ charity shop and outreach centre, Another Chance, has reopened for business.
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good – who performed the original official opening in November 2015 – returned on Saturday morning to cut the ribbon signalling the centre’s return. He congratulated the parish for grasping an opportunity for new beginnings from the disaster which struck last summer.
The shop was badly damaged and all its stock destroyed when the premises were flooded by over three foot of water, last August, after the nearby River Faughan burst its banks
In the six months since, the premises have been repaired, the outreach centre redesigned, its Prayer Room relocated and the shop re-stocked with goods donated by parishioners and the wider community.
This morning, the local Rector, Rev Robert Boyd, said it was great to have the outreach and mission centre reopened, and to have a fresh opportunity to serve the community.
Rev Boyd thanked the volunteers who had readied the premises for re-opening, the community who had helped out with new clothing and new equipment, and all those who had supported the venture with grants. He reserved a special word of gratitude for the centre’s coordinator, Joanne Miller, for her outstanding contribution.
Bishop Good said the two years since Another Chance first opened had been an eventful two years for the project. “I’ve been here several times in those two years, for good reasons and for tough reasons,” the Bishop said. “I was here at the opening; I was here since; the memorable moment that I have is of a group of us standing somewhere there [pointing to an area near the kitchen], where everything was ruined and wet and sad and depressed. We prayed in a circle round there that God would give guidance and strength and direction and focus and courage, and I think all of those prayers have been answered.
“A challenging disaster can sometimes turn out to be a real opportunity for new beginnings,” the Bishop said, “and I think you have grasped that opportunity here in very impressive ways. You have used imagination, you have redesigned things, you’ve turned things round, you’ve expanded, you’ve refreshed it, and you’ve made the most of a crisis.”
The Bishop said Another Chance was one of the most exciting ventures to come out of the Diocese’s Year of Opportunity. He thanked parishioners and the parish team for their passion and vision, and for seeing the opportunity to do something for the community as well as for the parish. “It was outwardly-focused,” the Bishop said. “You weren’t just looking in at yourselves – you wanted to be a source of encouragement and of hope to this community, and you have seized that opportunity most impressively.”
Bishop Good led those present in a prayer of thanksgiving for another chance for Another Chance. Rev Boyd said the Parish had new plans for developing their work in the community which would be announced in the near future.