'Growing' Welwyn Garden City church eyes move
PUBLISHED: 11:18 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:18 04 February 2015
A church in Welwyn Garden City is bucking the trend with plans to convert former offices into a new church and community centre.
Christchurch Baptist Church is looking to take on the Indigo Court building in Tewin Road.
It has been based in Parkway for 70 years, operating as a community centre as well, before a temporary move to Broadwater Road in 2012.
Robin Webb, one of the trustees of Christchurch, said: “The church on a Sunday was growing and we were aware we catered more for the west side of town and needed to do more for the east.
“So in 2012 we moved temporarily into the old Highways Agency building on Broadwater Road. We tried to buy that building but failed to get it.
“But then we saw the Indigo Court building was up on the market so we have put in a planning application for it.
“We want to create a new church and community centre which can be used by people in the Peartree area.”
The church already does a lot in the local community. It held a family fun day last year, as well as regularly hosting kids clubs, a twice-weekly lunch club and an exercise club for older people.
It also has the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) holding drop-in sessions.
It has the support of the other churches in WGC and Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield.
Andrew Hemmens, senior pastor at Christchurch, said: “We’re very excited about the prospect of an additional community centre and place of worship in the Peartree area that complements our existing home on Parkway.
“Our desire is that this new Christchurch venue will also be a hub for the local community, building on our existing partnership with CAB at our Broadwater Road site and the links made through our summer family fun days.
“With so many new homes to be built in this area we’re sure that Christchurch will be better placed to serve a growing population and a growing church.”
A decision on the planning application will be made after the public consultation period closes on February 12.