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Opportunity seized

17 April 2014

IN 2007, the local authority in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, decided to build a new library to replace the old one directly across the road from St Thomas's.

The congregation of St Thomas's saw it as a wonderful opportunity, if they could lease it, to turn the old building into a church community centre. They had no hall of their own, and felt very limited in what they could do both for the church and the wider community.

Serious fund-raising started on July 2011, and since then the congregation have raised more than £90,000 through gifts, fund-raising events, and grants. That has enabled them to lease the building from the council, and convert it into St Thomas Centre.

At the end of last month, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, came to cut a ribbon and formally open it. He congratulated the congregation and the Team Rector in Wednesfield, the Revd Nick Watson, on their achievement, and the possibilities it offered for the future.

"This is a new chapter in the life of St Thomas's," Mr Watson says. "We can expand not only what we already do, but also show our care for the wider community of Wednesfield." Their plans include a toddler group, lunches for the elderly, and job clubs to help people back to work.

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