New River Church opens its doors on Ipswich Waterfront

Matt and Amy Key

Matt and Amy Key preparing for their first service in the new River Church. - Credit: Paul Geater

Ipswich's second new church of the day opened its doors on the Waterfront - River Church has moved into the former Quay Place wellbeing centre.

The doors of Quay Place have been shut since the first lockdown.

The doors of Quay Place have been shut since the first lockdown. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Just hours after the the Hope Centre in the former Odeon Cinema, River Church - which is part of the Church of England and follows the Holy Trinity Brompton evangelical tradition - welcomed its first congregation.

Led by Rev Amy Key and her husband Matt, River Church is especially hoping to attract congregations from the Waterfront and University of Suffolk to its main service "The Six."

Amy said they did not really know how many people would come along during the first few weeks: "We don't know what to expect - we've set up for 170-180 but we'll have to see how many come." 

Matt and Amy Key

Matt and Amy Key preparing for the first service in the new River Church. - Credit: Paul Geater

Until now the River Church has been based at St Augustine's on the edge of the town - but the couple hope that its new home near the Waterfront will bring in more people every week.


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As well as the Sunday services, the River Church hopes to offer more services in time to the local community - it plans to open a coffee shop and provide space for people to meet or study.

It is already renting out rooms in the extension that was built on the side of the church when it was turned into Quay Place for Suffolk MIND thanks to a National Lottery grant.

That was forced to close during the first lockdown - but now the historic St Mary at the Quay church has a new lease of life.



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