THE long wait is finally over for a Merseyside congregation who
have been looking for a new building to worship in since their own
building was demolished in 2010.
Plans had been drawn up for St John and St James, Bootle, to
have a new building on the site of an abandoned car showroom, as
part of a regeneration project, but when the present Government
came to power, the funding was withdrawn.
The purchase of the United Reformed St Stephen's
(below), near by, was completed earlier this month,
however, and plans have been submitted to Sefton Council for a
The Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Claire Dawson, said: "The church
buildings came down in May 2010, and at the time we'd been promised
the site on Linacre Lane. This was a partnership with Sefton
Council and Housing Market Renewal.
"Just before we were about to sign contracts in August, we had
the change of government, and all the funding cuts came, and the
whole scheme just went to the wall.
"We've been very fortunate in that organisations in the
community have welcomed us into their buildings; so we've been
borrowing homes wherever we can. Particularly, Springwell Park
School has been really helpful in letting us meet there."
Besides giving their new building a facelift, and adding a
foyer, the PCC hopes to install new kitchens and lavatories, and
refurbish the hall. The cost of the purchase of the building and
the modernisation is about £500,000.
The sale of the land from the old church, with contributions
from the congregation, have raised £450,000. That means that the
PCC needs £50,000 in grants to bridge the gap, Ms Dawson said.
Local organisations are now being sought to form partnerships.
"We are trying to gather together people who have an interest in
the local community, and have a say in it," Ms Dawson said. "It's
setting out a canvas for people to help us fill in."
The congregation will continue to meet at Springwell Park
School, but will worship every fourth Sunday at Bailey Drive until
they are able to move in permanently.