The chapel committee has agreed a new statement on the social value and impact that Cross Street Chapel has on the community. The text of that statement is below.
Cross Street Chapel has a long history of liberal religious worship going back to 1662. We are a spiritual community who encourage individuals to think for themselves. We believe that everyone has the right to seek truth and meaning for themselves, and that the best setting for this is a welcoming and open community.
As part of achieving this, and in line with the chapel position as a registered charity, the Minister, Chapel Keeper and congregation actively encourages individuals and local community groups to access services at the chapel and make use of the chapel facilities. Through this it is intended that positive social impacts can be achieved for both individuals and groups. The social value and impact of Cross Street is generated in two ways:
Firstly, via direct social value of activities undertaken and subsequent impacts including:
- Providing a voice for progressive and inclusive religious / spiritual belief in the city.
- Providing a regional hub / meeting space for the progression of the Unitarian movement and groups aligned to Unitarian principles.
- Providing a safe and welcoming environment to all and, when necessary, tailored pastoral and practical support and assistance.
- Specific courses and groups, such as ‘The Artists Way’, that facilitates individuals to explore their beliefs and understandings with the aim of personal growth and development.
- Support of LGBT equality through our civil partnerships licence and continued support of the Manchester Pride event.
Secondly, via indirect social value activities / impacts through lettings and making facilities available including:
- Support of other religious groups and spirituality. At least four groups use the chapel facilities to enable minority faith groups to engage together or give individuals an opportunity to explore their personal spirituality and wellbeing.
- Support of older people and the retired. At least five groups use the chapel facilities with the aim of providing services to, or improving the situation of the elderly.
- Support for health. At least five groups use the chapel facilities as part of their activities to improve the physical health of individuals and/or groups with specific health needs.
- Support for learning. At least seven groups use the chapel facilities in pursuit of both formal and informal learning with a number having a specific emphasis on sharing knowledge and learning relating to local history.
- Support for cultural activities. At least six groups use the chapel facilities to enable minority cultural and social entertainment activities to occur that would otherwise struggle to be accommodated in the city.
The above groups receive substantially reduced rates for lettings, acknowledging both the social benefit to the locality and the limited resources that most have available. This is balanced by the chapel through a proportion of commercial lettings that enable the above to take place. The chapel does not aim or budget to make any profit from its lettings activities.
The Chapel remains committed to maximizing its social value and impact and will continue to seek new opportunities to achieve this within its activities moving forward.
Cross Street Chapel Committee.