City Church Preston moves into new building to work in the community
A church community is excited to finally have a permanent base for its religious and social activities.
Members of City Church Preston are now settled into their new building in Lancaster Road North, after it was officially opened by Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart.
The new facilities include a sports hall, a kitchen, pool table and allows community groups a large space to meet.
Dean Hogarth, director of the church, says: “Since we sold our previous building on North Road in 2014 we have been meeting in various locations, including Invincibles Lounge, Preston North End, Preston’s College and Starbucks.
“In summer 2018 it became apparent that we could not stay in the rented facilities we were using, and we began to search for a new building.
“The building in Lancaster Road North became available and following a swift transaction at a miraculous price, we moved into the building in October 2018.
“The official opening was intended to demonstrate our gratitude to God for his significant provision which will allow much more consistent outreach to the community.
“It was also to thank all those who helped with the process of moving in and setting up the new facility, and raise the profile of the church’s impact in the community.
“We are grateful that the Mayor of Preston has agreed to officially open the building and we had a great open day.
“It is our intention that the building comes to be known as a place where people can find help and sanctuary, wherever they find themselves on life’s journey.
“We are encouraging our faith community to be visible and active where they are, in their work, volunteering, studies and school.”
Such work includes Hope for Life, working with Stoneygate Neighbourhood Centre, which identifies families who would benefit from regular food parcels, as well as the Holiday Food Market scheme in partnership with PCC’s Community Engagement Team.
One night a week the community takes food onto the streets of Preston to those who are in need.
The community also provides a number of people to the Street Pastors scheme run by churches in the city, to provide a reassuring presence in the city late at night.
Members also work closely with a number of organisations who support those amongst under-served and vulnerable groups, including Diverse Church (online community for LGBTQ young people from Christian families), Community Solutions NW (providing active care and community support across Lancs), Mercy Ministries (for women working through controlling issues such as eating disorders).
City Church Preston was founded in 1912 and is a Pentecostal Christian church, part of the Assemblies of God (GB) network of churches.
Dean adds: “We a welcoming, inclusive faith community. We are a registered charity and limited company.
“Rev Paul Counsell has been the leader of the church since 2007 and he is known to the worshipping community as Pastor Paul.
“Initially combining his role at the church with his career at BAE, Paul moved into paid employment with the church in 2014.
“As a community we are actively involved in serving the city, and through our partnership arrangements with other organisations we have an impact around the world.
“At any given meeting it is common to find many different nationalities represented, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe; reflecting the cultural diversity and neighbourly care of others which Preston is renowned for.
“We have young families in the church and hope to re-start provision for young people now that we have permanent facilities.
“Our 20s-30s group has been active for some time, but we have found it challenging to serve our teenagers well whilst we have been without a building.”