Park location: 1365 Viscaya Drive, Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Situated between Port Charlotte United Methodist Church and St. James Episcopal Church
Rent this park for your next special event!
In the worship area is the park’s focal point — an 18ft diameter gazebo. It is surrounded by foxtail and pygmy dates palms and other lovely plantings, offering a beautiful setting for a wedding, baptism, or other event. Great for photo opportunities, too! The gazebo is nestled between both churches, connected by a 100 yard brick walkway with an iron archway at each end. A 40 ft long wheelchair ramp provides easy access to the gazebo.
The custom-made pews in the 100-seat sanctuary sit between the granite altar and gazebo. The seat-backs can be easily adjusted to face either the altar or the gazebo. A wheelchair accessible sidewalk surrounds the pews. An ornately landscaped 40ft long berm separates the sanctuary from Viscaya drive. The sound of gently running water emanates from the water feature near the altar.
Electrical hookups and a portable, full-immersion baptismal fount are some of the amenities available.
Picnic / Play Area
A 1200 sq. ft. children’s playground stands nearly in the center of the Park. Future plans are to add on to the playground and install picnic tables, BBQ pits, and benches.
The Meditation Area contains a 50 ft diameter prayer maze, surrounded by 15 Stations of the Cross.
Parking for the public is available in the paved church lots to the north and south of the park, with formal entries through iron archways on both sides near the center of the park. There are no restroom facilities or drinkable water in the Park. However, arrangements can be made with either church’s facilities for group rentals.
On Friday, August 13, 2004, as Hurricane Charley ripped through Charlotte County, it destroyed the densely wooded 2-acre parcel of land between St. James Episcopal Church (SJEC) and Port Charlotte United Methodist Church (PCUMC). In January 2005 the two pastors, and several of their parishioners, met to discuss what could be done with that parcel of land now that they all ‘could see each other.’ The “New Beginnings Park” committee was formed to create a park that would serve the two churches and the community.
The New Beginnings Park and its first major structure, a new playground, were dedicated on January 1, 2006. At the first annual Joint Veterans Day Celebration November 11, 2006, the park’s focal point, the gazebo, was dedicated. Episcopalian Bishop Dabney T. Smith consecrated the park on February 23, 2008.
Funding & Donations
Routine maintenance of the park, such as landscaping, mowing and watering, is supported solely through donations and nominal park usage fees.
The Memory Brick Fundraiser is an ongoing funding source for the park. These special bricks are interspersed in the pathways throughout the park. Each 4″ x 8″ brick is $50 and can be inscribed with your personal message. This is a wonderful way to honor or memorialize a loved one. Consider a Memory Brick in lieu of flowers at funerals or other special events. They make great gifts for:
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
You may also donate towards the brick walkway, the labyrinth, irrigation, playground, or a tree, a shrub, a bench, a planting, etc.
Donations, brick orders and questions may be directed to:
Port Charlotte United Methodist Church
21075 Quesada Avenue
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
St. James Episcopal Church
1365 Viscaya Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33952