The congregation at St Andrews Church in Rochdale town centre are celebrating after officially moving into their new £1.1m home.
The construction of the new church next to Rochdale Leisure Centre on Entwisle Road is part of the ongoing £250m regeneration of Rochdale town centre.
The impressive building boasts a range of eco-friendly features including an Air Source Heat Pump, which uses available heat from the air to heat the building, even at minus temperatures, and a monocraft system to provide the building with lots of natural light and ventilation.
As well as the main worship area, which can be subdivided to provide additional flexible space, there is also a separate hall, kitchen and café area available for use by either the church members of the various community groups who will use the premises.
It’s the beginning of a new era for the 50-odd strong congregation of St Andrews, as a church has existed on its former site on Smith Street since 1857.
The Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Peter Rush and Monica Rush and representatives from Rochdale Council and the Rochdale Development Agency joined Minister, Reverend Carolyn White in special dedication service at weekend.
Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “2014 is set to be another really big year for the regeneration of Rochdale town centre and the unveiling of this fantastic new church and community building has got it off to a great start.”
Reverend White added: “It's a lovely building, and a great opportunity for us to explore new ventures at a time when there are so many exciting changes taking place as part of the regeneration of Rochdale town centre. I would encourage people to come and see for themselves what we have to offer."
The Old St Andrews building is due to be demolished in the next few months, alongside the black box, old bus station and multi storey car park, to make way for the new retail and leisure town centre east development.