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BCLC - Cefn Cribwr (07/06/2007)

It is with a great sense of humility that the Leaders of BCLC accepted the highly prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service this month. They became the first Church in Wales to be awarded this honour since it was inaugurated at the Queens golden jubilee.

BCLC is a church at the very heart of its community - that is Bethlehem Christian Life Centre in Cefn Cribwr, near Bridgend. The transformation of what was then an inward looking church began in 2000 when the leaders began to discuss how they could more effectively serve their community.

The vision evolved into seeking funding for a community centre and was realised when New Life Centre was opened in 2005. Within a year of that event, the church's congregation had trebled in size to 140 and, apart from these spiritual benefits, the centre's facilities themselves are being used by hundreds every week.

There is a strong emphasis on sport, with activities such as aerobics, five-a-side football and circuit training on offer. A large conference centre is hired out by local authorities, health boards and others while the Coffee Bar underpins the commitment to being a community centre. This is just a sampling of the work - visit www.mybclc.org for more information.

At the heart of the work is the small army of volunteers, with 50 church members offering at least an hour of their time every month, with some much more. Their motto is that "God is not looking for ability but availability".

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