Members of St Michael’s Church, Stoke Gifford have been taking a look at their new church and community centre ahead of its dedication next month.
Archbishop Justin Welby will be visiting the centre on Saturday 13 September during his visit to the Bristol Diocese to bless the church’s ‘audacious’ Heart of the Community project and dedicate the building.
The shell of the building, on the site of old farm barns in North Road, is due to be completed at the end of this month.
Small groups of church members were given a preview of the ground floor of the building and the chance for informal prayer and worship in the 600 seat auditorium after each of the church’s three Sunday services.
The building is the centrepiece of the church’s £5.5m Heart of the Community project, which also includes refurbishing the neighbouring Old School Rooms and renovating the 14th Century church. A tenth of all money donated or raised by the congregation is being used for mission work to combat poverty and spread the gospel in the UK and overseas.
The new centre will provide much needed facilities for conferences and church services, wedding receptions and other celebrations as well as community rooms. It will also serve as a resource for the wider region as it is within easy access of the M4 and M5 and just minutes away from Parkway Railway Station.
The Bishop of Bristol, Mike Hill, who has described the project as ‘audacious’ will be accompanying Archbishop Welby.
The next phase of the project will be to kit out the inside of the building and provide usable space on the ground floor by Easter 2015.
The Rev. Si Jones, Rector of St Michael’s, said: “The Heart of the Community project will provide a legacy that will speak of God’s generosity for generations to come.”