A new independent church has moved into Rushden and its leaders say they hope to place themselves at the heart of the community.
The Heritage Chapel and Halls have moved into the old Hope Methodist Church buildings, in Park Road, Rushden.
The new church has been set up by a consortium of individuals, some of whom were part of the Methodist church congregation.
Dennis Dangerfield, from the church’s working committee, said they are looking forward to the challenge of running the church and are hopeful of it becoming a large part of the community.
He added: “We want it to be not just only a church, but we are concentrating on making it a community centre for everyone.
“We are looking at holding a number of clubs, whether it be a dancing school coming to us, a table tennis club, or anybody who is interested.
“Anybody who runs a club, or group, and is interested in using the church’s facilities should get in touch.
“We want the church to be that little bit different and revolve around the community.
“We want it to be a place people go to, and it gets used, every day of the week and not just at the weekend for services.”
The first service at the church was held on Sunday.
Mr Dangerfield said services will be held by people from different denominations each week. He said: “Every week the service will be done by different people, whether it be someone from the Church of England, the Methodist Church, Roman Catholic, Baptist, or whoever.
“What we are saying is that as long as you believe in God, anybody is welcome to come along.”
The building was sold to its new owners at auction by Hope Methodist Church earlier this summer.
The Methodists are temporarily holding services at St Peter’s Church hall, in Hayway, Rushden.
Mr Dangerfield said the working committee will strive to make the church a success and a thriving part of the community.
He acknowledged that some churches are struggling financially these days, but he said plans have been made for the financial stability of the church and the working committee is also exploring a number of ways to secure extra funding.
He said: “We are looking at possible grants, including heritage ones, to help support us.
“We have been working with Rushden and East Northamptonshire councils, which have been really good and supportive of our efforts.”
The second service at the church will take place on Sunday, at 10.30am, and it will be taken by Charles Watts.