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Devon church celebrates £1.7m community centre opening with hot tub baptisms

An Anglican Church in Cullompton, Devon, invited Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith down for the official opening of an ambitious new village centre ...

It's great to hear from Inspire readers about what God is up to in their locality, so I was hugely encouraged this week to pick up on developments in Cullompton in Devon, where great things are happening at St Andrew's Church.

Liz Straw takes up the story: "A bunch of volunteers from a parish church have funded and now help run activities in a £1.7m contemporary community centre in a deprived Devon market town. Iain Duncan Smith visited the Cullompton Community Centre yesterday and found that the Big Society is alive and kicking!

"The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the founder of the Centre for Social Justice had a whistlestop tour of the contemporary building (which he officially opened) and talked to volunteers from the town's parish church who made this amazing project happen.

"It took a hard working team of volunteers five years to plan, fundraise and work with a professional design team and building contractors to complete the project. We knocked down our Victorian church hall, and now another team of volunteers (from the church) are working in the new centre created providing a food and furniture bank, toddler group, youth drop-in, coffee morning as well as providing advice on relationships, housing and debt.

"We had a hot tub on the Centre's patio and the Bishop conducted baptisms in it! Earlier in the day we held a goodbye party for our curate and had a fabulous hog roast, also on the patio whilst lazing the sunshine in the churchyard."

Sounds like a fantastic way of marking the work that's been done up to now – and looking ahead to the creative ways in which the church can serve the community and share the good news of Jesus with them.

What is your local church up to? Get in touch and we'll pass on the encouragement!

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