Wolverhampton church opens Job Club for the unemployed

Councillor Phil Page, also Head of Education in Wolverhampton, Usha Patel, St Chad's Parish Centre Manager, the Reverend Mark Hathorne and Pat McFadden MP cut the celebratory cake at the official launch of the Job Club

A church in Wolverhampton is helping people out of work to find new jobs.

St Chad's Church, in the Bilston area, formally opened its new Job Club in September together with the city council, Wolverhampton Inter-Faith & Regeneration Network, and local charity SiteLearn.

Bilston is one of many areas in the diocese that suffers from particularly bad unemployment with figures over 50 per cent higher than the national average.

Pat McFadden, Wolverhampton South-East MP, attended the opening ceremony and praised the church for its efforts to support the local community.

He said: "By giving people help we really can make a difference and get them into work. It's a good testament to the church's keenness to get outside the doors of the church and into the community and say 'what are the needs of the community?'"

Reverend Mark Hathorne, the vicar of St Chads, said that over the years the church had sought to provide a wide range of services in the community that are not explicitly Christian in nature - the Job Club being one example.

The City Council's Adult Education department is funding the project while the Wolverhampton Inter-Faith & Regeneration Network is helping connect those in need with the service. SiteLearn is providing the staffing and resources.

Mr McFadden added: "It's a great credit to the church that it's getting its sleeves rolled up like this and getting involved and making a difference to people in the community who may - or may not - walk in the doors of a church but nevertheless will benefit from that Christian helping hand."