A weekend of events is taking place to mark the opening of a new £1m-plus baptist church building.
The church, in Wollaston, was completed last month after the previous building, which dated back to the early 19th century, was demolished. It meant the congregation had been without a church for more than a year. Most of the funding for the new development came from donations.
An open day was held on Saturday, November 17, for residents to explore the facility, which includes a devoted creche area, easily accessible toilets, a reception hall, games rooms for children – including pool tables and a Nintendo Wii – and a kitchenette. On Sunday, a special thanksgiving service was held, followed by a light lunch.
Revd Michael Hogg, the minister, said local people had been very positive about the development. “We have thrown it open to the community, to let people know what we do,” he said. “Until now, they have only seen it from the outside.
“There has been a lot of interest in seeing what was going to take the place of the old church.”
He said the previous building was not in a fit state for worship, with poor disabled access and no heating.
“We had a building which was hindering what we wanted to do as a church,” he added. “We needed a building which was more welcoming, comfortable and purpose-built.”
Pat Taylor, from Bozeat, described the new church as “wonderful”. She said: “It will make a big difference. They have done very, very well.” Agnes Jones, also from Bozeat, said it was a “building for the future” and predicted it would bring others into the church.
A member of the Wollaston congregation, Ruth Wilcox, said the new facility was welcome. “The previous one was an old, traditional church with hard wooden pews and outside toilets,” she said.