cultivating and nurturing an all inclusive community is one of the strong anchors of the work of Cochrane Street United Church. the members of the congregation work diligently to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming space in a compassionate and friendly environment for people of all backgrounds and walks of life to come together in fellowship and get in touch with their spirituality. they reach out in innovative and new ways to inspire growing and supportive friendships within the ever changing community that we all share.
while the 11 o’clock Sunday Service has been a constant platform for welcoming people since 1878, Cochrane Street United Church has constantly responded to the changing needs of the neighbourhood and community through its vast variety of community programs. over the years, the congregation has hosted food banks, community meals and cooperative housing initiatives. today, the church supports a choral music program plus an alternative worship on the third Saturday of the month for children and those who are young at heart called “Messy Church” which is a hands-on, interactive alternative to regularly structured service. during lunch hours on Thursdays the doors are open to all in the community to participate in a yoga class in the sanctuary. there are also many clubs and groups such as Men’s Club, Bridge Club and UCW (United Church Women), as well as Sunday School. throughout the year the congregation is active in supporting many community groups and outreach activities that strive to make a positive difference in improving the well being of all that are impacted by our work.
in 2015, the congregation responded to changing times by taking the bold step to create Cochrane Centre, a community based board responsible for the church building, to pursue new community initiatives by responding more directly to new challenges in the community. more recently, Cochrane Centre has partnered with First Light (formerly the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre) to repurpose and manage the operations of the Building. the building has now been renovated to provide affordable housing and seniors living units, community space and an improved performance venue in the sanctuary area. The Centre and First Light now host a variety of community events which seek to create a safe and welcoming space for the community and neighbourhood to come together. this not only impacts the community, but also the congregation, who has so much pride and joy in their efforts to respond to community need and change.