Today the heavy industries which provided the prosperity of the area are mainly closed. But some of the sites are no longer derelict. New, mainly service industries are growing. But Bradley remains an Urban Priority Area with high deprivation indicators. Nearly half of Bradley is made up of council housing. The clinic was burnt down and has not been replaced. The local library has had its hours and facilities reduced. The government no longer perceives a need for employment training of a kind that St Martin’s was offering, so that has ceased.
Fifteen years ago people used to say “There is no longer a church in Bradley”. They had experienced the pain of seeing the landmark church spire, which marked the place where their parents had been christened, married and buried, demolished. Today more and more people are seeing the old school as a church building. There are an increasing number of funerals and weddings being carried out here. Unlike many churches the building is in use seven days a week. An increasing number of people use the building for various activities all of which are run by church members. Community groups hold meetings and even have the occasional party. It is a place where we offer God’s hope and proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ in all that we do.
Over the last few years the building has undergone a maintenance and repair program with many improvements being made especially with access for disabled people. Because the groups we have are growing and new ways are being found to serve the community, we have altered the rear of the building to provide extra kitchen facilities, a new entrance and updated toilets.