Carleton Rode baptist church reopens three years after being targeted by arsonists

A Baptist church which was targeted by arsonists three years ago is back in full working order following an extensive refurbishment.

The 18th-century Carleton Rode church's schoolroom and storage area were gutted and the chapel smoke-damaged during the fire in June 2009, which displaced worshippers, a Sunday school and a newly-formed youth club.

But the building, in Chapel Road, reopened earlier this month following the rebuild which has included the addition of a new caf�.

Alison Laurie, a deacon at the church, said: 'We are thrilled to be back again. It is a challenge not having your own building and of course the youth club had to stop as a result of the fire.'

Following the blaze, morning services had to be conducted at village halls in Carleton Rode and Bunwell, although the youth club was able to return in 2010.

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The improvements, which cost over �150,000, include a new office, kitchen and community rooms as well as toilets and a patio area.

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