A new church and community hall will officially opened its doors to the public on Saturday March 7.
The Ropemaker Centre, at Ropemaker Park Estate in South Road, cost £1.1m to create, and as well as being a community hall is the permanent home of ChristChurch.
For us as a local church the Ropemaker Centre is a dream come true
The project, which was led by ChristChurch’s charity, Hailsham Frontiers Charitable Trust, has transformed the former industrial unit, creating a large multi-purpose hall with seating for 300 people. A kitchen has also been fitted, as well as toilets, and a small meeting room.
The building will be used for worship, and by community groups for meetings, courses and events.
Although the church was founded in 1981, members have been meeting in different venues in the town, including the Civic Community Hall. Its activities will now be based at the new venue.
The church was able to purchase and develop the building through donations from local and national charities as well as gifts from members. The church began Gift Days to raise money for the building eight years ago when the membership was less than 80 people. It now has 175 members and they have raised more than £600,000. Although the building is operational, it is intended that a second floor will house further rooms and offices.
Dr Andy Johnston, pastor of the church, said: “For us as a local church the Ropemaker Centre is a dream come true. Church is about people, not buildings, but this facility will give us a huge opportunity to serve the local community of which we are part.”
The trust provides youth work, a parent and toddler group and members are involved with Hailsham Foodbank.
Funding also came from The Veolia Environmental Trust, the Good New Evangelical Mission and The Norwood and Newtown Settlement.
The building was officially opened at 5pm and a special service of praise took place at 7pm. All welcome.