Thorpe St Andrew church launches �100k appeal to fund expansion

A church which has doubled the size of its congregation began its drive to raise �100,000 for an ambitious building project this weekend.

Plans for work at Thorpe St Andrew's parish church, in Yarmouth Road, were on show this Saturday, as fundraising for the �95,000 project began.

New toilets, baby-changing and disabled facilities are all included in the extension plans, designed to allow the church to host more events.

Church warden Mike Waters said: 'The congregation is growing and we are limited to what we can do in the church.'

An appeal has already gone out to parishioners, charities and businesses to help reach the �95,000 target and �16,000 has so far been pledged.

The church hopes to host more concerts and community events by building the extension.

Canon Barry Oake from the church said: 'The new facilities will all come in handy. Our congregation has almost doubled in size in six years and is continuing to grow.'

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While many churches have seen their attendances drop, Canon Oake said Thorpe St Andrew had bucked the trend by putting on more social activities such as quiz nights and wine tasting.

The church also runs sessions for youngsters, soup lunches, a choir and bereavement groups.

'Our pastoral outreach has been more practical,' he said. 'It is becoming a more active church.'

•Do you have a story about Thorpe St Andrew for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk.

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