Whiteley gets a new school and a new church building
A new Church of England school has opened in a Hampshire town, which will also serve as the base for a new church.
Acting Bishop of Portsmouth Rob Wickham has opened the new Cornerstone C of E Primary School in Whiteley, which will also house Hope Church.
The school comes after eight years in a temporary location. It will be the first permanent location for the church, which began in 1995, as they have met in people’s homes, at the community center and online since then.
The £12million building in Bluebell Way was created by Hampshire County Council to help accommodate thousands of families moving into new homes in North Whiteley over the next few years. The school currently has around 200 students, but can now accommodate 630 children aged 4 to 11.
The new chapel can be used by both the school and the church during the week for toddler groups, morning coffees, small acts of worship and other community activities.
Jo Vartan, Church Warden of Hope Church and School Learning Support Assistant, said: “It is really exciting that Hope Church is part of Cornerstone School and that the school is at the heart of community development. that we want to serve.
“It was emotional, there were tears in the school hall because we had waited so long. I have been involved in the church here for 15 years. The meeting at the community center was great, but it will make us truly visible as a church to the whole community.
Guests and dignitaries joined staff and students for the first act of worship, led by Bishop Rob and the Reverend Phillipa Mills, Vicar of Hope Church.
The original Cornerstone C of E Primary School was opened in 2013 in Bader Way, which housed the existing Whiteley Primary School.
Whiteley Church began meeting in 1995. The church met in a number of different locations before moving to the Whiteley Community Center in Gull Coppice in 2002.