Church events mark 20 years since blaze

The Emmanuel Church is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a week-long display and two other events.
The Emmanuel Church is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a week-long display and two other events.

Twenty years ago this month, Emmanuel Church reopened its doors after a devastating fire reduced the old church to ruins.

With its distinctive wave-shaped roof and seaside interior décor, the church looked very different from its predecessor, yet proved an instant hit with parishioners, both old and young.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary the church is holding a week-long display of artefacts and pictures from its history, including the terrible blaze, from Thursday 29 November.

Then on Saturday 1 December, at 7pm, the church is holding an ‘Emmanuel Extravaganza’ in which church members and friends show off their talents.

This is a free event, and drinks and cakes will be served in the interval.

The 11am service on Sunday 2 December will be a special service of thanksgiving.

The Rev Malcolm Exley and his wife Kathleen, who were instrumental in the rebuilding of Emmanuel, will be guests of honour.

The Rev Richard Hare said: “We hope people will drop in and look at the display and also join us for the two events.

“We’re so grateful to the people who worked so hard to build this new church on the site of the old one, and are delighted that it serves the local community by hosting so many local clubs, activities and events – from NHS clinics and singing groups to children’s parties and meals for homeless people.”

The multi-purpose church and community centre boasts a comfortable worship area, a stained glass chapel, cafe and meeting rooms, a large kitchen and two halls, and is in full use every day of the week.

Rooms at the venue can be hired by phoning the church administrator Lynne Henderson during Tuesday or Thursday mornings on 01262 603033.