Each Saturday in January after the coffee morning, the church is holding a series of prayer walks through the streets of Goldthorpe. We pray God’s blessing on the people and the community in which we serve and look to God to move in every household and every street.
Goldthorpe was originally a small mediaeval farming village in Yorkshire, mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the early 18th century Barnsley Attorney William Henry Marsden Esquire of nearby Burntwood Hall bought the Lord of the Manor of Bolton on Dearne with Goldthorpe for £10,000 together with over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land. Goldthorpe is recorded in the 1761-1767 Inclosure Awards. The Marsden family continued to hold the manor until 1815.
Work has recently been done on the main road and pavements in Goldthorpe and some of the history of the place has been captured in flagstones:
The flagstone captures the original spelling of the village name (Godetorp, also known as Guldetorp, presumably after the first man who settled in the ‘thorpe’ or outlying farmstead.)
The rise of the mining industry in Yorkshire accounted for the growth of the village in recent years, but since the closure of the mines in the late 1980s, it has become a deprived economic area. This is evident from the number of rundown buildings and closed shops in the area.
Child poverty in the Barnsley area as a whole (and in Goldthorpe as one of the worst areas in the borough) is much higher than the national average. The percentage of children classed as living in poverty (defined as where at least one parent is claiming Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseekers’ Allowance or Pension Credits) in Goldthorpe is 45%.
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council announced regeneration plans for the village in 2008, and some improvements have been seen (the new paving on the main road was part of this plan, for example), but the majority of these plans are at the moment still on hold, largely because of the current difficult economic climate. One of the things we are praying for is the general regeneration of the village.
New housing has been built on the outskirts of the village:
How does praying on the streets of Goldthorpe effect change in the village? Well, the short answer to that is we don’t know ‘how’! We only know that God wants us to pray for people and for our area and we are content to leave the ‘how’ to Him! There is no value in ignorance, however, and we want to support the local authority and any organisations who seek to improve the area as a whole. The ‘Goldthorpe Master Plan’ proposed by BMBC looked at 5 key areas:
1.Regenerating the Village Core
2.A new, larger primary school facility
3.Better housing (which includes the development of Beever Street, where the church used to be located)
4. Improving green spaces in the village
5. Celebrating Goldthorpe (Celebrate Goldthorpe’s historical and cultural heritage and create a stronger identity through new landmarks and focal points of interest)
Goldthorpe Master Plan
As you join with us in praying during January, bring these 5 areas to God and see if we can part of the physical regeneration of our village, as well as praying for spiritual regeneration.