Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C


Ipswich: Public show of support for Jimas’s refurbishment of St Michael’s church

10:55 14 May 2014

JIMAS holds an open day at St Michael

JIMAS holds an open day at St Michael's Church in Ipswich to discuss the future of the building after its restoration with members of the local community.

Three years have gone by since St Michael’s Church in Ipswich was gutted by fire – leaving a charity’s dream of turning the derelict site into a community centre in tatters.

JIMAS holds an open day at St Michael's Church in Ipswich to discuss the future of the building after its restoration with members of the local community. JIMAS holds an open day at St Michael's Church in Ipswich to discuss the future of the building after its restoration with members of the local community.

But last weekend people from all walks of life descended on the former church in Upper Orwell Street as officials from Islamic education charity, Jimas showcased the restoration work that has taken place.

The day gave people an opportunity to see the progress being made on the building, but also to talk to those involved in the work and 
find out the future plans for the building.

Manwar Ali, chief executive of Jimas, said: “It has been fantastic, mainly because a lot of people are coming who we haven’t seen before.

“The awareness is still there.

“This place has to be something of use to people in Ipswich so the more people who come the better.

“I am quite happy, excited and encouraged and positive.

“We had about 70 to 80 volunteers from all walks of life come recently to help to clear out the space and make it what it is.”

The aim is to create a community space which can be used by people in the town and the first phase of getting the building usable will be work on the parish hall.

If the charity gets the required funds then all the restoration work could be finished by the end of next year.

Officials at the organisation are currently looking at ways to get additional funding for the project, which includes grants and other schemes.

Paulin Goonan, project manager, said: “You can feel the atmosphere of what it is going to be like.

“Kids are playing and it is very family orientated, which is very important. It’s really nice – it is a good atmosphere.

“We are hoping to take it from this stage and turn it into a community space where people can do what they want and people can get involved.”

Irfan Waraich, treasurer with Jimas, added: “We feel privileged to be part of this restoration and this work.”

The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Aqua 8, Lion Street, Ipswich

An Ipswich chef-entrepreneur has achieved his dream of opening up his own restaurant in London’s Chinatown.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

More than 30 vehicles were stopped as part of the operation

More than 30 drivers of lorries, light goods vehicles and coaches were stopped by police last week in an initiative aimed to target and disrupt criminal activity.

Robin Byford who is considering High Court action against Suffolk Coastal District Council and the planning inspectorate over planning permission to turn his garage into a house.

A Kesgrave father is considering taking the district council and planning inspectorate to the High Court after a three year planning rollercoaster to convert a garage to a starter home for his daughter.

The Kent Lodge Nursing Home.

Kent Lodge was rated inadequate by the CQC this year – one of five homes in the county to be given the rating this year

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages