Nightclub gets new lease of life as town church

Church leaders Tristan Harris and Adrian Horner
Church leaders Tristan Harris and Adrian Horner

A former nightclub may seem an unusual place for hosting Sunday church services, but a non-denominational Kettering Christian group is doing just that.

The Open Door Church, which began meeting in Barton Seagrave in 1993, is a former independent group which joined the New Frontiers church movement about 10 years ago.

The congregation has swelled from about a dozen in its early days to more than 100 in recent months.

To cope with its numbers, the church began looking for a new venue, and when church leader Adrian Horner saw for sale signs outside the former Rehab nightclub in Montagu Street he thought it was too good an opportunity to miss.

The church had no cash reserves of its own, but a church-going family agreed to make a bid of £210,000 for the building, below the £350,000 asking price, with a view to renting the building to the church.

Church leader Dr Tristan Harris, a former GP who left medicine about two years ago to work full-time for the church, said: “We were delighted when our bid was accepted.”

Services, which are far removed from traditional Anglican or Catholic services, have been held at the building, now dubbed the Eden Centre, since last September.

However, Mr Horner said the group wants to make the building a community resource. He added: “The plan is eventually to have coffee clubs and parent and toddler groups.”

An official opening is taking place on Saturday, February 23, when Kettering mayor Jim Hakewill will cut the ribbon.

For information about the Open Door Church, visit www.opendoorchurch-kettering.org.uk, and for booking information for the Eden Centre, visit www.edencentre.net.