An Abbey Wood Catholic Church has been an “oasis” for the community for 107 years by funding charitable causes, working with underprivileged groups, and offering communal space for various groups.
St Benet’s Catholic Church in Abbey Grove, near Abbey Wood train station, has enjoyed “wonderful” links with various community groups during its long history.
A spokesman for the church said: “St Benet’s Catholic Church, Abbey Wood has been for 107 years, and continues to be, an oasis for members of the community not only mainly within this borough, but also beyond to other boroughs who choose to worship with us.”
Members of the church contribute to the community by visiting and praying with prisoners at Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, donating money to charitable causes, and visiting sick parishioners.
Parish Priest Father Robert Ogbede said: “We allow our members and members of the local community to use the hall and facilities for small scale events and meetings based on existing mutual trust, understanding, cooperation, and healthy human relationships.”
Father Ogbede, who has served the parish for two and a half years, added: “The interaction, support and solidarity have been wonderful.”
The church building is not only used for religious worship but also by self-help groups, ethnic minority organisations, and social and sporting activities.
The Abbey Wood branch of Alcoholics Anonymous and ethnic minority groups: The Nigerian Association, the Ghanaian Association, the Filipino Community all use the space for meetings. Other community groups such as the First Abbey Wood BPSA Scouts, the Karate Group, the Salsa Dancing Team are able to use the church hall for activities.
A spokesman for the church added: “The strong community spirit within the parish derives its foundations from the teachings of Jesus Christ.”