Kath Poole has been appointed as the new Communities Minister at St Thomas and St Luke (‘Top Church’) in Dudley. This is a new role at the resourcing church which will focus on how the church can best serve the local community in the town.

Kath worked as an Occupational Therapist in mental health before coming to Top Church where she was involved in assessing and addressing barriers to participation. In her new role, she will spend the first six months researching the local area – talking to a wide range of people and finding out what about the needs of the local area.

Kath said: “I have been a member of Top Church for the past few months and was looking for a way to combine work with my faith. I’m hoping to be able to use the skills I’ve developed as an occupational therapist to look at how Top Church can best participate in the community and vice versa. I am completely open to ideas about how the role might develop and over the next few months I’ll be talking to those already working with the local community to see how we can be involved. It will be a privilege to come alongside those who are already working in Dudley and to be able to have a long term outlook as to what might be possible.”

James Treasure, Vicar of Top Church, said: “Sundays are important, but so is the rest of the week. If we are not making a contribution to making the lives of those in our parish better, than we’ve failed as a church. A healthy church is one which is out serving its local community and I’m delighted that Kath has joined the team to identify how we can best do that. We hope to reimagine what it means to work within our parish and express the love of God for the whole person.”

Kath started as Communities Minister for Top Church at the beginning of June. It is a full time role based at the church. Top Church was one of two churches in the Diocese of Worcester awarded a significant grant from the Church Commissioners of the Church of England to become a resourcing church. The church will be officially relaunched in November and will become a resource for both the local community and other churches in Dudley.