Who We Are, What We Do
Who We Are -
History of The Crossing
building dates from 1893. Before that there was another place of worship on the site; it was the chapel to Queen Mary’s Grammar
School, called St Paul’s, and its congregation included Sister Dora.
An increase in the resident population of Walsall Town Centre meant that by 1890 that chapel was too small, and the current building
was put up to replace it. The church was built primarily to serve the community of Wisemore and we estimate that there were, at that
time, about 5000 people living within a 500 yard radius of the church.
As the town centre was redeveloped in the first half of the last century, residential housing gave way to civic and commercial premises
and by the mid-60s it was clear that the original reason for the building had gone and either St Paul’s had to re-invent itself, or
close. But it was not until 1989 that a decision was made to redevelop the building; and a £2.25million fund raising effort began.
In 1995 the re-ordered building was opened as a Christian Social Enterprise and place of worship.
The interior shows how the integrity of the listed building has been maintained with an amazing feeling of grace and style. Visitors are
always struck by the ‘wow’ factor as they take in the clean spacious areas designed around a mezzanine floor overlooking the mall.
Original stained glass windows have been preserved and tell stories of Walsalls past.
The Crossing, itself, is an inspirational social enterprise company. We are housed in the church of St Paul’s, Walsall, and exist to
serve the community and put the Christian faith into practice.
We are a company with a social conscience – we have an ethical trading policy, are committed to the Fairtrade and Make Poverty History
movements and are actively involved in the regeneration of our town.
The Crossing has featured in the national TV and press for its fabulous conversion and exemplar work, and many established and emerging
third sector businesses are based on our model of social enterprise.
What We Do
Our business is primarily about people and we invest a lot of time building up personal relationships with our customers and clients.
Our core products and services include four Conference Rooms to hire, a Coffee
Shop, Retail Outlets, and catering although our business is much broader than that.
The ground floor of our building consists of retail shops selling niche market products, a Day Chapel and a Social Economy Centre that
provides support to other social firms in Walsall.
The mezzanine floor houses a 70 seater Coffee Shop, an exhibition area,
Management and Church Offices and the Walsall Carers Centre.
The second floor consists of meeting rooms that are used for a variety of functions including conferences, business meetings, training
sessions, exhibitions, theatre, music, church services and faith events.
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Our values - Social Inclusion
The Crossing aims to provide a place in the centre of Walsall where all can come and feel at home. It is not a place for any one group
alone, not exclusively for any particular faith group, ethnic group, age group, income group or ability group. The building is intended to be
open to all and accommodating to all, a place where all people experience a warm welcome.
Access and Welcome
Our commitment to access is reflected in our determination to respond to the needs of disabled people and parents with young children and to
the needs of community groups (charitable/voluntary organisations) as well as commercial clients. Our commitment to providing a warm welcome
is reflected in the training of our Coffee Shop and Operational Staff, who are always alert to the needs of users in the building, whoever
they may be.
The Crossing is a champion of social justice in the town centre. As a benchmark of social justice we seek to exemplify good practice within
the organisation, not only to responding to what the law demands, but setting standards over and above this. As an agent of social justice, we
seek to use our resources, financial and other, on behalf of the vulnerable and marginalised.
Our good practice is especially evident in our dealings with our employees in respect of their terms and conditions of service, and their
personal development. Our commitment to seeking justice is evident in our use of our end of year profits, our promotion of fairly traded
goods, and in the platform we provide for the vulnerable and marginalised.
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The Logo of St Paul’s Church
In ancient Greek tradition the letters of a name were turned back to front or disguised in some way and then combined with a significant
symbol to form a monogram. In this case, the name “Paul” is combined with a Latin cross. It was designed in this way to act as
a 'secret symbol' to identify Christians to each other as, at the time, to be a Christian meant persecution from the Romans. This logo
is set into the floor of the shopping mall, under the Light Well Cross.
The Crossing Banner
The Crossing Banner combines a striking series of Christian symbols. Banners are hung over the shopping mall, and in the stained glass
in the doors on the first floor balcony.
What The Symbols Represent
Jesus once introduced a parable in these words’ The Kingdom of God is like a net’ (Matthew’s Gospel chapter 13 verse
Is a traditional symbol of The Christ, Jesus. The Greek word for ‘fish’ (icthus) provides the initial letters of the Greek
for ’Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour’.
Is a symbol of creation, to reflect God’s care not just for our spiritual lives but for everything about us.
Is a symbol of the Feast which will take place at the coming of God’s Kingdom. The vision of this Feast puts celebration at the
heart of the Christian Gospel.
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