Lowestoft church enjoys celebration weekend
The community of Roman Hill in Lowestoft showed that there was much to celebrate over the weekend of the royal wedding with a fun day and official opening of the new facilities in St Andrew's.
On Saturday April 30 groups active in the central part of Lowestoft worked together to produce a day of fun, entertainment and festivities, focused on The Yard project off Ashby Road, the Rainbow Nursery on Camp Road and St. Andrew’s Church on Roman Road. Each opened up for local residents, showing what great facilities and range of activities are available in the Roman Hill area.
Different activities happened at each venue, playing to the strengths of the three facilities. The Yard project hosted a Plant Sale and Arts and Crafts, The Rainbow Nursery had children’s activities and St. Andrew’s was fully open, showing off the new facilities inside and the award winning garden outside.
Sue Henderson, a local resident involved in The Yard project, and previous chair of the now finished group Lowestoft Together, said “The weekend showed just how much goes on in the local area, and also got young and old involved together.”
Groups from across the area were involved in providing the fun and entertainment. There was live music from the Air Training Corp
and the Lowestoft Orchestral Society
, demonstrations of Seated Exercise from the MS Society
, craft from the Woodcraft Folk
, Brownies and Guides
and maypole dancing as well as many other activities led by volunteers from the church and local area including the St. Andrew’s Playgroup
, the local PSCOs
and Rory the lion mascot from Waveney Youth FC
Alison Dixon, Nursery Nurse at the Rainbow Nursery was enthusiastic about the fun day “It was good that the different groups linked so that everyone could see the community working together. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good time.”
The weekend marked the official opening off the new facilities at St. Andrew’s, after the completion of the three-quarters of a million pounds Access All Areas. To mark this milestone, during the party on Saturday, Phoebe Allman and Nellie Vallance, the youngest and oldest members of the congregation [pictured top] planted a cherry tree outside the building, and Sarah Gosling, project officer for WREN, on behalf of the funders of the building works, cut the cake.
On Sunday the celebrations continued when the Bishop of Norwich
joined a full church for a service of rededication, which included members of groups from the local community, Peter Aldous M.P
., the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Rous
and members of St. Andrew’s past and present.
In a joyful act of worship, Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich said “I am delighted to be with you today at the conclusion of this weekend of celebration of the marvellous transformation of this church centre. It reminds us that a church is for people. It isn’t a museum piece.”
Mark McCaghrey, the Vicar of St. Andrew’s was thrilled by the weekend. He said “What a brilliant weekend we’ve had. On Saturday we showed what you can do when groups work together, with so many people having a good time at St. Andrew’s, The Yard and Rainbow Nursery. And Sunday was just as great - the rededication service filled with a real sense of joy and excitement in what God has done for us here in Roman Hill.
“Just a few years ago St. Andrew’s was a cold, dark, inflexible building with a wasteground behind. There was isolation and negativity in the local community and no real sense that things could change. But as Christian’s we believe in a God of transformation, and look how much things have already changed for the better – wonderful flexible facilities here, and so much going on in the community.
“But this is only a start. There is much need in the community - and we are looking forward to working together in the future, building on the good foundation of this weekend.”
The Access All Areas project was funded by a wide range of local and national grant making groups and individuals, including the Big Lottery Fund Community Building Programme, Lowestoft Together, WREN, the Diocese of Norwich, Suffolk Environmental Trust and Geoffrey Watling. It also built on many years of hard work by members of St. Andrew’s and makes the building one of the most flexible church buildings in Norfolk and Waveney.
1. Phoebe Allman and Nellie Vallance planting a tree
2. The Air Training Corp band
3. The rededication service at St Andrews