By Andrea Davidson
It's nothing to do with Doctor Who coming to Ipswich, but all about the Church of England appointing someone to keep the faith in the redeveloped waterfront area. Hundreds of new flats have been built in the noughties, but is there a 'community'?
Ipswich is seeing a massive transformation in its physical appearance with new homes and buildings continuing to rise. But what about its spiritual change? A new 'regeneration rector' has been appointed to try and help meet that need.
The Reverend Paul Daltry has the title Minister for Church and Community Engagement and aims to make sure the Church of England is at the heart of regeneration projects and communities across the town.
"Ipswich has been going through an amazing amount of change, and that change is set to continue," said the Reverend. "It's about the church engaging with the community, wherever it is, and this role is about trying to help Christians serve their communities, particularly in areas where they haven't been able to do it up until now."
With so much development in the town, he's concerned that the emphasis is on money, and not those living and working there.
"People can feel very isolated. I think there are issues we need to keep an eye on.
Reverend Paul Daltry
"Properly planned new developments can be very beneficial where they're planned with humans principally in mind. I think my concern is always where, as we have seen too much recently, profit has been the driving motive.
"I think that the Church and other voluntary agencies should be involved in the development of communities right from the outset in at the planning stages. And it would be very helpful if developers actually approached people within the community before drawing up their plans.
"The Church isn't unique in this, but we've been there for centuries and we have some ideas that perhaps can help make sure these are human-focused developments in the future.
"This is about the Church coming together with the regeneration organisations to further support the people of the town."
Although Paul's only just taken up his new role, it's an area he's been working on for some time.
"We've been doing some work recently on the waterfront," he said. "We've put on a waterfront community day and we had over a thousand people through. That actually began to help them feel that they were part of what was going on.
"We're now looking towards whether we can put on various different things down there - maybe a business forum or business show. We could try and encourage bits of art to go on down there.
"But really focusing it for the people who live there. So they can meet, get together and feel part of the rest of Ipswich."
The 'regeneration rector' has also drawn the attention of the Archdeacon of Suffolk, Geoffrey Arrand:
Archdeacon Geoffrey Arrand
"This is an exciting new way of working outside traditional church structures. The town is set to grow rapidly and the Church is committed to working in, and with, the new communities that will develop. We look forward to the outcomes."
Luke Deal's BBC Suffolk Sunday breakfast show covers faith topics 0600-0900 hrs.
last updated: 13/05/2009 at 12:02
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