First Magherafelt Presbyterian Church has won an award for its Café Revive at the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Social Witness Recognition Awards.
The local congregation picked up the ‘Partnership with another organisation’ award from Presbyterian Moderator Rt Rev Dr Charles McMullen at a special ceremony in Belfast.
The awards, which take place every two years and are organised by PCI’s Council for Social Witness, which has overall management responsibility for the denomination’s homes and support units, honour the exceptional contributions made by staff and volunteers in the denomination’s congregations, homes and support units.
Members of staff in the denomination’s 16 homes and support units along with volunteers from its 500-plus congregations were asked to nominate individuals, or a team of people, who were making an outstanding contribution in the area of social witness.
Lindsay Conway, Director and Secretary to the Council for Social Witness, explained that Café Revive is a special partnership between a local congregation and Kilronan Special School.
The project came out of a conversation between the church deaconess, church members and the chairman of the school’s Board of Governors.
A Café is held each Tuesday and is open to the general public, parents and friends of school pupils.
The café provides useful work experience for pupils and each table has a named photo of their server.
Congratulating the winners and those who were nominated, he said: “These awards are a celebration of the caring and Frit work that is undertaken by so many unsung heroes in our denomination.
“The Café represents the true meeting of Church outreach and gives the young people a wonderful opportunity to get experience at the same time” he said.
“Social witness is a very special kind of witness. As people reach out to others in different hands-on everyday ways, we wanted to honour the contribution that they make. Well done to every winner and every nominee who are changing lives and bringing light in a sometimes dark world.”
Across 12 different categories, the Awards included special recognition for volunteering, safeguarding, promoting good practice, leadership and team of the year.