Bournemouth Church opens after years of construction

A NEW church has finally opened in Bournemouth town center seven years after construction began.

Lansdowne Church marked its return to Lansdowne Road in the new building with a special series of community events.

Gaynor Brown, local mission leader, said: “All kinds of people have come to explore the new building. It was wonderful to meet them and show them around.

“It’s very different to what we had before. It’s light and airy, with excellent facilities for our own needs and those of the wider community.

“We want to serve others well through this building.

“For us, it’s about more than bricks and mortar, but about experiencing the love and generosity of Jesus with others.”

The new building features the latest in audiovisual technology, a 650-seat auditorium, modern kitchen, cafe, gym and rooftop terrace.

At the entrance to the building, 139 Purbeck stones have been grafted into the wall, representing the number of years the old church stood in its place.

In his Sunday morning address to the congregation on September 12, Chief Minister Peter Baker said, “This is a building for children; for generations of toddlers and teenagers to come.

It’s a [strategic location] for UK and international students. It is a building for the thousands of people who live, shop and work nearby, but above all, it is a building for the worship of God.

Construction began in 2014 with plans to return after 18 months. But work was stalled after problems arose with the roof of the building.

Pastor Baker described the past few years as “a community that waits and wanders, longer than expected, with no permanent home and using various buildings to gather together on Sundays and mid-weeks.”

He said, “Throughout the journey, however, we have learned the lessons that the church is about the people, not the building.”

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