I was really pleased to see Basement Central officially open on Wednesday evening. Chris Humble (Methodist Minister at Central) and I cut the ribbon and there were lots of people there, including the press, to mark the historic day.

Basement Central is the new Youth & Children’s Centre in York and it’s an amazing space! A very tired and unused basement under Central has been transformed into a wonderful new kids zone. Hundreds of volunteers have invested many hundreds of hours to renovate and decorate, and thousands of pounds have been given to equip the new centre. It looks amazing!

The vision for a children and youth centre in York has been brewing for about twenty years. A number of people have tried to pursue this, but every time a door has been pushed it has firmly closed. But this time things have been different. It seems that God has literally opened a door! And it feels like he’s saying: ‘This is the time. This is the place.’ And that fills me with real confidence that Basement Central is going to be very strategic in future work amongst youth and children in York.

Whilst it’s been mainly people from The Belfrey who’ve been spearheading this great project, it wouldn’t have been possible without our friends at Central. Over the last sixteen months or so we’ve been exploring how we might work more closely together and this project has been one way of testing the water. We really value partnering with Central in this and hope that it’s the first of many ventures together. As it says in Psalm 133 ‘How good and great it is when God’s people live together in unity… It is there that the Lord commands his blessing, even life for evermore.’ I firmly believe that our partnership together will produce many good things and change many lives. That’s certainly what we’re expecting!

So all this is great news for youth and children in York and is certainly very exciting for me, as I’ve encouraged the leaders and prayed for the vision to be turned to action.

If you want to know more about Basement Central, do look at the blog that Lee Kirkby and others have been regularly updating. See the pictures and read the comments and be inspired! You can check it out by clicking here.