From derelict Tory club to flourishing church

A growing church in the Labour heartland of the Rhondda Valley is taking over a derelict Conservative Club.

ACTS church in Tylorstown has been meeting in the Rhondda Fach Sports Centre since it was launched in November 2008.

Growing numbers and expanding community services have forced the church to look for a permanent home. ACTS stands for A Church for Today's Society.

Even though Tylorstown is in the top 10% of the Welsh Government’s index of multiple deprivation, the church’s 50 members raised a staggering £60,000 on one gift day in December and bought the former political club.

Council members had previously voted unanimously to give planning permission to this new venture after church members explained their vision and read from Isaiah 58.

In addition to its Sunday services, ACTS church hosts a range of social projects, including a CAP (Christians Against poverty) debt advice centre and the award winning Rhondda Foodbank.

Recognised at last year’s Best and Simplyhealth Community Awards, Rhondda Foodbank was voted the overall winning project and received a £6,000 cash prize. There are over 150 such foodbanks in the UK, providing three days worth of emergency food to individuals and families who find themselves in crisis.

Rob Jones, pastor of ACTS said: “ This building will bring a ‘wow factor’ to the people of Tylorstown. We will offer a more than excellent service and believe that this will become a hub for the community; a place where local people feel they belong.

“The biggest social challenge we’ve noticed since starting up in 2008 is loneliness. For many people there is isolation within the community, particularly amongst the elderly. Loving God and loving people is our church mandate and our new home will help us express the whole gospel to the people of this neighbourhood.”

ACTS church will open its new building later in the autumn.