Trinity Commons is a meeting place for the Trinity congregation and local community that will be open to the public as a place to gather, to co-work, to learn, to be fed, or simply to come together as neighbors and friends. Trinity Commons will support job training, the arts, and a host of other community-based activities, while still serving the essential functions of an active and growing parish church.
After engaging in a series of conversations with its worshiping community, Aquidneck Island neighbors, and interested stakeholders, Trinity is building a vibrant new building that will offer a wide range of ministries, spaces, and services for the multiple communities it serves. While developing designs and raising funds for this new building, Trinity’s parish house, Honyman Hall, is supporting current ministries, and helping to incubate new programs that will eventually be housed in Trinity Commons. As part of the plan for Trinity’s facilities, Honyman Hall will receive needed updates and repairs and will continue to be a vital asset on the Trinity campus.
Collaborating with 2 Hands Studio and Herk Works Architects, Trinity will complete design for a new, environmentally and historically sensitive building on the site of the former Carr-Rice House. Trinity’s unique space needs will be met with a design for a community responsive and beautiful facility. It will house the Community Meal program, adult literacy and employment readiness services in food service as well as cultural initiatives. This thriving space will provide out-of-school time programming as well as evening practice space for choirs and musicians and meeting space for myriad community groups. Trinity envisions a building that is open and bustling each day, all day.
The building will include a commercial kitchen, a music suite, meeting and performance space and some offices that will be available to rent for community enterprises that do not require independent or permanent space. Having a multi-purpose building will permit Trinity to more fully embrace its service mission. It will mean:
- An expansion of our meal program
- Support for those seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce with meaningful skills to secure sustainable wage employment through our culinary training program, offered in partnership with Harvest Kitchen,
- Growth in music education program, and
- Hosting myriad community groups seeking meaningful programming partnerships, meeting, performance or office space.
Love for music, compassion for the underserved, fervor for community, and Trinity’s natural hospitality informed this vision. Additionally, our partners have tangible needs that they are seeking to meet. The Community Meal program has outgrown the space and, with an 11.5% poverty rate and Newport’s designation as an “urban core” city (United Way of Rhode Island), the need is substantial. Harvest Kitchen is looking for an East Bay location for local youth in Juvenile corrections system and Trinity is considering partnering with other providers of literacy and job training services in the wake of no longer having a state-sponsored employment support office. Trinity deepened relationships with local churches, non-profits, and local governments, discovering partners throughout the area willing to join the congregation’s passionate quest to serve the region and its diverse populations.
Trinity’s Next Challenge:
Trinity will design and construct a centrally located, flexible space that will support both community and church functions and allow a healthy church organization to sustain and maintain the Historic Trinity Church Building. Our campaign – Trinity Serves – calls for an investment of $3 million to be raised from parishioners, foundations and members of the community. We are well underway in our fundraising efforts and look forward to developing full support for this transformative project.