Church gets go-ahead

CHRISTIANS are today looking forward to playing a key role in the regeneration of one of Suffolk's most deprived areas after receiving the go-ahead for a church building.

CHRISTIANS are today looking forward to playing a key role in the regeneration of one of Suffolk's most deprived areas after receiving the go-ahead for a church building.

River of Life Church in Felixstowe has been granted permission to transform a 20,000 sq ft former hi-tech factory and office complex into a centre for worship, and for social and education projects.

It plans to have 11 full-time and 15 part-time staff working at the church in Carr Road, serving the community in a wide variety of ways.

Pastor Terry Baker said the River of Life was already involved in many community projects in the town and surrounding area, and was a vibrant and growing church with members from babies to people in their 80s.


You may also want to watch:


It has 20 teachers in its junior church, runs a coffee shop in Hamilton Road as an outreach project, and is involved with schemes run by Churches Together in Felixstowe, including the resort's Christian youth worker and a new venture to fund a person to work with the elderly.

It also works closely with the Felixstowe Seafarers' Centre.

Most Read

Mr Baker said: "Where the new church building is situated will enable us to serve that very needy area in many ways with youth work, holiday clubs, mums and tots clubs and many other activities and courses."

Suffolk Coastal council's south area development control sub committee unanimously gave the go-ahead to the plan.

Planning officer Eleanor Keating said the proposal was contrary to policy but officers felt an exception could be made because it would provide an excellent community use and Felixstowe already has a large number of empty offices.

River of Life started in Felixstowe in 2002 and meets at Brackenbury Sports Centre for Sunday worship. It has grown fast – its congregation is now regularly 150-plus – and the hall is now too small.

The southern part of Felixstowe has been identified as the most deprived in Suffolk Coastal and the tenth most deprived in the county.

What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter