News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 15, 2014
Surry residents call forum to discuss community space

by Faith DeAmbrose

In its very early stages, an idea to create a community space is in the works in Surry. More ideas are needed, says resident Florence Reed, who is helping to spearhead the effort. A forum is planned for May 18 to get ideas and feedback and to open the discussion to a wider audience.

Reed said that there are at least six people in the community so far who are interested in moving ahead with the creation of a place where the arts, community and spirituality could combine, intertwine or even exist independently of each other—but all be housed in the same space. There have been discussions of having progressive and interfaith services, said Reed, as well as AA meetings, possibly a place to show film series and most importantly, where the community can come together for potluck suppers centered around healthy local food options. She said there have also been discussions about “partnering” with other local institutions such as the Morgan Bay Zendo and Surry Opera House, which has a new owner interested in exploring options.

Currently, the discussions have centered around the idea of purchasing the former Methodist Church building in the center of town, but other ideas could also be considered, she said. Last year the church closed and it was purchased by a Surry resident, said Reed, who has indicated the property could be for sale for this type of use. “At one time that building was a hub; the heart of the community and we would like to bring it back, but in a different way,” said Reed.

An open forum will be held Sunday, May 18, at 4 p.m. in Rural Hall at 680 Surry Road.

Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Florence Reed at 266-6864 or

Upcoming meeting:

Sunday, May 18, 4 p.m. at Rural Hall, 680 Surry Road