The Michaelhouse Centre was set up in 2002 to promote the Christian faith, particularly through the arts and education. It strives to be a different kind of church, engaging with people, offering hospitality, with a spirituality open to all. It is governed by a Charity and its trustees are responsible for its activities.
St Michael’s Church is part of the parish of Great St Mary’s and is still a functioning parish church. Great St Mary’s has granted a licence for the charity to operate in St Michael’s Church, while itself continuing to use the chancel for regular weekly services.
The Michaelhouse Centre has granted a contract for the provision of a café to an independent café operator, Bill Sewell. The Centre can use the café area for its purposes when it is closed as a café, during evenings and on Sundays. Michaelhouse activities also take place in the two meeting rooms and in the chancel and attached chapel with the consent of Great St Mary’s Church.
The Michaelhouse Centre has developed a strong track record for its regularly changing art exhibitions, it supports the Michaelhouse Singers, a friendly choir, run by Anne Taylor, open to anyone with a mental health condition, and their carers and friends, and is also a venue for concerts and meetings enjoyed by many community and church groups. The Centre works with the Cafe to provide dinners, parties, celebrations, receptions and conferences and is managed by a full-time manager and a part-time assistant manager.
The trustees meet four times a year and are also encouraged to attend the AGM in September. As well as contributions at the trustees’ meeting they are sometimes asked to join one of the three sub-committees, or to help out the work of the charity in other ways; from developing the strategic vision to co-ordinating and supporting creative projects in this beautiful church.
Trustees can be people of any age who would like to be engaged in the work of the charity and are in sympathy with its aims. Most recently we sought to add to the expertise of the existing trustees in the following areas:
• knowledge of the operation of small charities
• knowledge of HR, data protection, safeguarding and other legal requirements on charities.
• knowledge of charity finance and fund raising.
This is a voluntary activity – that is, there is no remuneration.