Bishop of Lynn leads special dedication for Molly Long Community Room in Aylsham Parish Church
- Credit: Archant
Candlelight filled a town centre church to celebrate a special community space built from a generous legacy.
The Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick dedicated the Molly Long Community Room in Aylsham Parish Church today during its traditional Candlemas service which marks the end of Christmas.
More than 200 people from different generations attended the special occasion which included 1,500 lit candles around the 13th century building.
Bishop Jonathan said: 'The atmosphere was terrific. The church looked fantastic and absolutely glorious.'
The £90,000 community room, used by a variety of groups and people, was named in memory of Molly Long who lived in Aylsham and was dedicated to the town's medieval church during her life.
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She was christened and married in the historic building and left £70,000 to it following her death in March 2014 aged 88.
That money went towards the 21st century two-storey Molly Long Community Room which opened at the end of October last year.
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It is now used seven days a week and groups include Aylsham Food Bank, a baby and toddler group, a children's Sunday club, community choirs, a bereavement support group and a University of the Third Age technology group.
Bishop Jonathan added: 'What Aylsham church has done with Mrs Long's legacy by creating this community room is very imaginative. It is such a fantastic thing to do.
'From everything I have heard about Mrs Long, I think she would be thrilled about the use of her money.'
Canon Andrew Beane, team rector of the Aylsham team of churches, described today's service as 'beautiful' and the community room as 'remarkable'.
He said: 'We needed the community room to be dedicated on a special day.
'Mrs Long left the church a lot of money and this is a way of having a lasting legacy of hope. The community room will be used for years to come.
'The church has a responsibility to keep its doors open. The church has to be at the heart of the community.'
Any groups can use the Molly Long Community Room. Visit www.aylshamministry.org.uk or call 01263 704457 to book.