Community celebrates new church opening

IPSWICH: There were celebrations as a new �800,000 church was officially opened in Ipswich at the weekend.

Richard Cornwell

IPSWICH: There were celebrations as a new �800,000 church was officially opened in Ipswich at the weekend.

Worshippers, representatives of various organisations, and guests, including Ipswich MP Chris Mole, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Sir Michael Lord, and builders Gipping Construction, gathered at Holly Lodge Baptist Church in Bramford Lane, for the special service.

The church replaces an old tin tabernacle, demolished a year ago after serving the church as a meeting place for 120 years.

Rev Steve Bond, who conducted the opening service with Rev Paul Hills, senior regional minister for the Eastern Baptist Association, said the project provided the church with a wonderful new building, warm and comfortable, with full disabled access, state of the art technology, fitted kitchen and toilets.

The main meeting room can seat 140 people and there are a number of smaller rooms with the ability to enlarge and join them via partitions to create a flexible space.

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“As well as the church using it, we will be hiring out rooms to various organisations in the community,” said Mr Bond.

“We also have regular drop-in coffee mornings on Tuesdays, the local police community support officer holds a surgery once a month, we are looking to start a lunch club for the elderly after Christmas, and we have got various activities for young people during the week.”

The church had been hoping for a new building for 40 years and the project really started to take off five years ago. The money was raised by savings, sale of a house the church owned, legacies, grants, gifts and direct giving from worshippers.

Do you like the new church? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.