September 17 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, August 30, 2014
A church is celebrating the opening of a new extension and meeting room.
The Diss United Reformed Church (URC) in Mere Street unveiled the Derry Room, named after worshipper Isobel Derry and the extension, featuring a kitchenette, at a dedication on Sunday, August 24.
Gabrielle Pagan, the church secretary, said Mrs Derry left the church £60,000 in her will, which was used to pay for the new developments.
Further money was raised through grants, including from the South Norfolk Community Fund and South Norfolk Council Neighbourhood Fund.
Mrs Pagan said the Derry Room provided enough meeting space for between eight and 12 people from various groups and the church already held sessions for Imps Playgroup, Solo Housing, a crochet group and concerts by the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band.
As well as the kitchenette, the extension also boasts newly-refurbished toilets, which used to be only accessible by leaving the church building.
The improvements took place over a three-month period from April until June.
Mrs Pagan added: “The extension provides lots more storage space and the refurbished toilets.
“It will make the church able to extend its welcome to the wider community even more effectively.”
She said the next aim was to carry out improvements to the exterior of the building to make the premises look more attractive.
“The Derry Room would be good for small meetings, music lessons, practice room, training days and a pop-up chapel,” she added.
Anyone interested in using the new facilities can find out more by visiting www.dissurc.org.uk.
Do churches need to do more to welcome community groups? Email firstname.lastname@example.org