St Andrew’s Church in Harrogate have formally opened their new community centre (14 Sept 13).
The Church, located on the High Street in Starbeck, have completed building works on a previously unused area next to the adjoining food retailer.
The Welcome Centre is aimed at existing church-goers and also the wider community. Apart from the formal opening, the centre als0 hosted a community groups fair where groups such as Scouts, Cubs, Starbeck Library, Tennis Swimming and Bowls Clubs and The Food Bank and Horizon Life Training all showcased what they do.
Built in 1910, this is the main structural change since then. The existing church retains its bright and airy feel, choosing to use normal chairs rather than the traditional and arguable uncomfortable church pues. This gives them greater flexibility in the use of the space.
Mike Langford, who headed the development works, said:
The development is all about being innovative and keeping the church relevant in today’s community.
It’s about opening the church up to the community to use for new things.
The opening was supported by all the local churches and of all denomainations. It was also supported by the Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, the Major of Harrogate, Mike Newby and The Right Revd James Bell.
Rev Francis Wainaina of St Andrew’s said:
The lunch is a thank you to all those that helped with this development and all the hardwork that has gone into it.
The development itself was financed from £450K of church funds and £70K of donations, although there remains remains a shortfall of £80k.
Rev Francis Wainaina of St Andrew’s added:
We have confidence that we will get the money to cover the shortfall from somewhere, with the blessing from the community that this will bring.
Christine Stewart of Starbeck in Bloom formally unveiled the plaque. It will also contain a time capsule for future generations to discover. The time capsule is yet to be completed and contributions for its contents are still being welcomed.