Church looks to be at heart of community
Published 30 April 2012
An ambitious £4.5 million project has transformed an ageing church building into a multi-function community and worship space.
St Cuthbert's, Copnor, in Portsmouth, opened in time for Easter after eight years of renovation work to build a doctors surgery and community centre within the existing church complex.
The congregation were jubilant as they returned to the newly completed church to worship for the first time after years meeting in a local school and their church hall.
The Bishop of Portsmouth will visit St Cuthbert's on 26 May to formally open the church and centre.
Plans for the renovation began more than a decade ago and the project was designed to put the church at the heart of the community.
Vicar of St Cuthbert's, the Rev David Power, said the church would now be much more visible in the community and that it would be able to keep its doors open during the day.
“I’ve said to the congregation that completing the building work is just the start. Now our job is to make sure that we are truly engaged in mission with our community, which was the point of the transformation of the building," he said.
“But it’s not just the building that has been transformed. We as a congregation have changed, because we’ve had to live with uncertainty and depend on God much more. Going through struggles together has deepened our faith and brought us closer together.”
The surgery was built in the east wing of the church. The brand new four-storey community complex features a children’s centre, a pre-school, space for Portsmouth College students and other community groups.
There are plans to landscape the garden, build a new vestry and create a new font as a centrepiece of the worship area.
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