Church in historic town building opens new space

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A Kettering community church has opened a newly-refurbished creche and counselling room at its home in a prominent town building.

The Gateway Community Church moved into the former photographer’s studio at Speight’s Corner, in Bowling Green Road, about four years ago after having outgrown their previous home.

The church has now refurbished the new room which will be used as a creche during services as well as a counselling room for anyone who wants to speak to church leaders privately.

However, the project might never have happened were it not for a chance meeting.

Church administrator Heather Hannant said: “We had been thinking about upgrading the room for some time and we had some money from the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

“My husband and I were then at Stanwick Lakes and saw a cyclist who was having to push his bike along because one of his pedals had broken.

“We offered to give him a lift home and got talking to him and it turned out he was a consultant who helped charities apply for pots of grant funding.

“He put us in touch with a couple of organisations and we were able to get the rest of the money we needed.”

The room has a camera linked to a television in the main room of the church so parents can keep an eye on children in the creche.

Mrs Hannant added: “We sometimes have people who want to speak to the pastor privately after a service as well.

“Until now, there hadn’t really been anywhere they can go, but the new room means we now have a private space for that type of thing.”

The room is also being used to host groups during the week. Mrs Hannant said she runs a craft group which is now using the space.

Pastor Brian Hannant said: “It’s been worth the time and effort to have somewhere quiet if someone has something to discuss in private.”

The room will be known as The Emmanuel Room as a tribute to the original Kettering Assemblies of God church in Shaftesbury street.

Mrs Hannant said the church was grateful to the building’s landlord.

For more information about the church, visit www.gatewaycommunitychurch.co.uk.