December 11 2013 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Churchgoers and the plain curious flocked to explore a new Sheringham church when it threw open its doors yesterday.
Up to 300 people packed into the Lighthouse Community Church, on Cromer Road, new home to the town’s baptist congregation.
The £1.5m church, which takes its name from its distinctive glass tower with top-floor views of the sea, represents the fulfilment of a 20-year dream, according to its pastor, the Rev Bryan Pickard.
“It’s a fabulous building. The architects, Stead Mutton Griggs, have done us really proud.
“There are thousands of old churches in Norfolk and we had to find our niche which I think we have done with this contemporary building,” he added.
The church replaced a 1950s building on nearby Holway Road which had become “tired, cramped and in need of attention,” according to Eryl Williams, team manager for the Lighthouse charity.
The church’s growing congregation - numbering up to 150 on Sundays - could now enjoy spacious facilities for its many family activities, including a large hall, and soft-play area for children, all of which would be available for hire by the wider community.
The Lighthouse, financed by grants, loans and donations, also has a 5,000 gallon water tank where adult believers will undergo baptism by immersion.
Visitors on Sunday were also entertained to displays by Daniel Cutting, the Guinness Book of Records’ world record holder for five areas of freestyle skills, including “keepy uppies” - keeping a football in the air.
Daniel, 26, a committed christian from Milton Keynes, first realised his talent at the age of 17 when he managed 26,000 keepy uppies in four hours.
Children and adults gathered round to marvel as he rolled a football all over his head, neck and body, bounced it off his chest and on to his foot, spun and turned - all without dropping the ball.
Saturday’s events ended with the official opening of the church and a service of celebration including songs, prayers, drama, and a reading and talk given by Rev Richard Lewis, regional minister.