InterACT is now very much part of a wider regeneration strategy in North East Leeds, working alongside Council agencies, community groups, local residents and schools, with a desire to see real, grass-roots transformation of the area.
But how did it all begin?…
In 2000, the Ripon and Leeds Diocese of the Church of England undertook an audit, which identified the Beckhill and Miles Hill estates, together with some other Meanwood estates, as areas where churches had little impact.
The audit inspired a fresh vision for the local churches working together. Stainbeck United Reformed Church and St. Matthew’s, Chapel Allerton, already had a good history of ecumenical work. They joined with Holy Trinity, Meanwood, and the seeds of the Three Churches Project were sown.
Gradually the project began to take shape and use of the creative arts (interpreted in its widest sense) became central to it. The vision was to set up short courses/ opportunities to learn, try and experience different things – art, music, drama, writing, cooking, gardening etc, and in this way for members of the churches and local communities to meet together on a level playing field. On September 21st 2005, the project was officially launched, following the appointment of a full time worker in the July.
Now we are no longer three churches but are a partnership of members across the Christian community in Meanwood, including Meanwood Valley Baptist Church, and also Chapel Allerton, We continue to work, as ever, alongside others for transformation in the locality.