Ruach Development Project



Ruach – what’s it all about?

Ruach is our term for describing our response to the changing demands placed on Poppleton Methodists in the 21st century.  The word Ruach is an ancient Hebrew one that when applied to God indicates creative activity and active power.  For us it means our vision of how we respond to the changing needs of the world.  We can’t hide from change; we have to recognise its impact with regards to church and community.

Gone are the days when the church was full every Sunday with people of all ages.

There was a time when most mothers of young children were housewives and not breadwinners.

Illustration of the revised front

They had time for charitable and community work.  Now many women choose to take just 12 months (or less) maternity leave then return to work.  In Poppleton most young mothers choose to work at least part time.  They find after school activities and holiday clubs for their children.  Children have a vast range of sporting and recreational activities to choose from and for many families Sunday is a chance for leisure time or shopping or visiting relatives.  Our challenge is to find the right ways to enable folk with this life style to engage with the church.  At the same time people are living longer and at some point find themselves living alone after the death of their spouse.  Currently, in Poppleton, it is these retired folk that form the backbone of our active membership.

Photo of Current church & schoolroom

So our Ruach mission is to think about our response to this change in the community.  It’s not about boosting church membership (though that would be nice) it’s more about how Poppleton Methodists can help meet the needs of the community.  A major part of this concerns our building because though it has served us well for over 100 years it now puts constraints on our ability to meet current needs.  Following several years work of contemplating these issues and consulting our congregation and users we have produced a plan for changes to our buildings for which we have now received planning consent.


What do we plan to do?


  • Build a new community hall at the rear with kitchen, toilets, stage and seating for 100 with its own entrance and access to a large garden
  • Convert the existing hall to create a permanent café facilities to serve the community with a dedicated kitchen and new

    The church as it looked in 1890

    toilets, a small office and storage

  • Move the entrance of the Church to the front allowing direct access to the new hall and landscaped garden
  • Make a new vestry and more meeting rooms to be available for community use
  • Roof over and enclose the external space between the Church and the current hall to form a Hub giving access to all areas
  • Reduce floor levels throughout to provide step and ramp free access
  • Church interior to retain its character but with pews replaced by chairs
  • Building services will be eco-friendly using renewable technology
  • Audio visual system linking all parts of the building







Turning the plans into reality – raising the money

We now need to turn these plans into reality.  Much hard work has already been done in getting a design agreed by the church and have obtained full planning approval from City of York council but we now need to raise the money.

We are not allowed under Methodist rules to commence the development work until we have raised 75% of the necessary funding. Our architect has

estimated the project to cost £1.2M including VAT.