Latest News

Chris receives the British Empire Medal!

We are very proud that Chris Delivett was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work as "Volunteer Team Leader at Open Door Drop-In Centre and for services to Mental Health Awareness".

Chris was involved in the work of Open Door from its very beginning in 1986. She has served faithfully and with great care in the years since then. Many hundreds of people have benefited from her quiet but passionate care. She trained as a counsellor and helped many people in this way.

Chris also started a craft and friendship group (ASK) in May 2008 and this continues to provide an opportunity for people to form friendship over different creative activities. For the last 4 years Chris has been a team leader at Open Door and the whole team has appreciated her reflective and peaceful spirituality.

Alongside her work at Open Door, Chris was involved in hospital chaplaincy for over 20 years. The impact of her service is hard to calculate and Open Door simply would not have been the same without her. We thank Chris for her incredible devotion and are proud that she has been recognised with this award.

Chris writes: “Open Door has been a big part of my life. I have really enjoyed bring part of a team and serving the Lord in this way – it is a privilege. We learn so much from one another and I am grateful for the many things I have been taught over the years”


Team Retreat

On 9th November 2019 the Open Door team took a day to go on retreat together. We find that working at Open Door can be very intense and busy so we find these retreat days really important.

Chris led the day and helped to reflect on Rembrandt’s ‘Return of the Prodigal’. 18 of us enjoyed engaging with this incredible painting and seeing God's heart through it. Our thanks to Assington Hall for again hosting our retreat day.


Who Cares?

In October 2019 we took part in a nationwide initiative called Who Cares? This is a simple one question survey asking "what hurts you the most?" We invited the guests to our drop-in and the congregation at Sunday@One to take part in this survey. The goal is to really listen and to hear how a community is hurting. The results are below, do they surprise you?

We were both heartbroken and fascinated as we read people's responses. The second phase of Who Cares? is to respond to these hurts and to share what Jesus would say about these hurts. At the beginning of 2020 we will be responding to the top 4 hurts through the talks at our Sunday@One service, why not come along?


New Drop-in Manager

We are delighted to have Graham Last start this October. He will be taking up a new part-time role as drop-in manager. He has a background in finance and is currently studying for a psychology degree part-time.

Graham will be focusing his time on team training, resource management, fundraising, finance, drop-in activities and supporting individual guests to Open Door.


Sponsored Walk

Our annual sponsored walk on 28th September 2019 was again a great success. We all really enjoyed the experience and it was a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Open Door.

An incredible £1,272 was raised for Open Door. Our special thanks go to Gerry for his outstanding fundraising. This money will go a long way to ensure that homeless and vulnerable people find help, support and a listening ear at their darkest moments.


Sunday@One Baptisms

Posted 4th March 2019

It was a joyful day as we celebrated the baptism of Vic and Ahmad, both valued members of our community. They had very different journeys up to this point but both emotionally described how they had come to put their trust in Jesus Christ.

"When I turned to the Lord Jesus, he was there for me, he gave me life" Vic

We heard about how baptism is a moment for a public statement of faith in Jesus but also a symbol of what Jesus does for us in making us clean and giving us a new life.

"I am so happy that I am here today, that I am here with Jesus, and that Jesus loves me" Ahmad

They were both baptised by full immersion and as a congregation we prayed for them and their new life in Christ. You can hear their stories of faith and see their baptism below.


Open Door Christmas Lunch

Posted 14th December 2018

After weeks of anticipation the famous Open Door Christmas Lunch had finally arrived! We welcomed over 55 people to enjoy a wonderful Christmas meal with us. It was waitress service and with all of the trimmings, crackers and Christmas pudding!

We enjoyed lots of Christmas music and even live carols on the harmonica! After the main course everyone received a gift donated and wrapped with love by St John's Church. These were really appreciated by all and made it an even more special day.

We want to say a special thank you to all those who worked in the kitchen and who made cooking for such a huge number of people look easy!

Open Door Promotional Film

Posted 27th July 2018

We are very excited to launch our wonderful new promotional film which is designed to inform about what Open Door is all about, why you might want to come and why you might want to support us.

We are very grateful to Big Picture Charity Films. They approached us with the offer of making the film for us and they have been excellent from start to finish. We hope you agree that the finished result is very professional!

We are also very grateful to Steve, Ian and Diane who were willing to be interviewed and share their experiences of Open Door.

Open Door Sponsored Walk and Cycle

Posted 26th June 2018

It was a lovely sunny day and guests, trustees, volunteers, supporters and our Director gathered in Colchester Castle park for the beginning of our annual sponsored walk and cycle.

The aim was to raise sponsorship and awareness of the work that Open Door does in the heart of Colchester. The day had finally arrived and it was time to actually complete the walk and cycle

The walk was a 4 mile route around Colchester which was specially chosen to be wheelchair accessible. The cycle was a 15 mile route through the Essex countryside and they only got lost once! Both groups then returned successfully to Castle Park to finish and enjoyed a packed lunch together.

A huge thank you to all those who participated and sponsored. The funds raised will be invaluable to the work of Open Door going forward.

We were also delighted that Gerry's efforts in fundraising made the front page of the Gazette! We look forward to announcing the total raised when all the money is in.

Please get in touch if you would like to be involved next year or would be interested in doing another sponsored event to raise funds for Open Door drop-in centre.

Open Door Appeal 2018 update

Posted 23rd April 2018

At the beginning of 2018 we launched a very special appeal. We were appealing for regular financial supporters who would be willing to invest in the work of Open Door. 

We have been so encouraged to see the number of regular supporters more than triple in the last few months! This will make a huge difference to the lives of the many homeless and vulnerable people in Colchester.

There is still a long way to go though and I (Peter) have been encouraging the team and Trustees to take some of our appeal flyers and to tell the story of Open Door to friends and family. 

To find out more about how to become one of our supporters for just £5 a month, please check out our appeal page.

Open Door celebrates Christmas

Posted 17th Jan 2018

Not long before Christmas we took the opportunity to celebrate together. After weeks of anticipation it was finally time for our Christmas lunch. Despite the snow outside over 60 people piled in to the hall for the Turkey roast with all the trimmings. There was a great atmosphere and all our guests were waited on.

Before we started on the Christmas pudding we made sure that everyone got a Christmas gift. Everyone got in to pairs with each person going to pick a gift for their partner. Our huge thanks to St John's church for not only donating the gifts but also wrapping them and writing cards. They were hugely appreciated.

Our thanks also to Waitrose who provided lots of Christmas goodies for us.

Sunday@One celebrates its 5th birthday!

Posted 20th Nov 2017

Balloons, cake, badges and a washing line of thankfulness. All of these were involved in our recent celebrations to mark 5 years of Sunday@One. During the special service, with over 50 people in attendance, we heard from Brenda Reade and Michael Franklin about some of the history of the service and their experiences of being involved. Everyone then had the opportunity to right down something they were thankful for and attach it to the ‘washing line of thankfulness’ we had put up in the hall.

It was a great occasion as we remembered and celebrated all that had happened over the last 5 years including the growth we have seen, people who have become Christians and got baptised, and the hundreds who have been welcomed in.

Launch of our newly refurbished premises!

Posted 25th Oct 2017

On Wednesday 6th September we official launched the newly refurbished Open Door. After being in the pipeline for a few years and being closed a bit throughout the summer for the work to take place we were delighted to launch the new room and show it off! Work has included removing the tired benches and replacing them with new tables and chairs. We also replaced the curtains with lovely new blinds and the whole room got redecorated. We often struggle for space in the kitchen so a new unit was installed on the back wall which has been a great help. The refurbished room is much more flexible in layout which is especially helpful for events such as Tuesday@Twelve.

We invited a number people from the community to the launch which included church leaders, charity leaders and dignitaries. It was wonderful to welcome people in to the Open Door environment and to share a little bit about the work that we are doing. We even had the Mayor of Colchester cut a ribbon!

Do come and check out our lovely new space!

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