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Church puts faith in £1/2m dream

Worshippers have already shown their belief in town by raising a staggering £140,000 in just a few hours at a gift day

PEOPLE in Oswaldtwistle have been updated on plans to convert a factory into a place of worship.

The Oswaldtwistle Community Church, which is currently based at the Harvey Street Community Centre in the town, is set to exchange contracts for the SG Aluminium building next week.

The factory, on Watson Street, was on the market for £300,000 and members of the church hope to carry out extensive renovation work to make it into a centre for the whole community.

If the sale goes through, the building could eventually house facilities such as an Internet café, parent and toddler group, food bank, football teams, employment training, counselling services, school summer camps and a youth club.

Senior minister Brian Jackson gave a presentation during a meeting of Oswaldtwistle Area Council to explain their plans - which could cost as much as half-a-million pounds to carry out.

He said: "Oswaldtwistle Comm-unity Church has been going for 14 years and we have a congregation of more than 150.

"We're a new style of church, seeking to be more contemporary and relevant to the community with our social action. We have three core values - we are community-centred, purpose-driven and people-empowering.

"We have outgrown our present building and we are now in the final process of signing the documents to own the SG Aluminium building.

"We've paid just under £300,000 for the building and it will cost us a further £200,000 to do it up to the standard that we want. We will need around half-a-million pounds in total - but we believe in this town.

"We are now looking into what grants are available to fund the project, and the work will be phased in over time."

He added that fund-raising for the project had already started, with a recent gift day at the church raising a staggering £140,000.

He said: "That is a declaration of intent about how serious we are about this building being used by the community.

"We seek to play our part in what's going on in this town."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist