It’s amazing to think that it’s now a year since our new Annexe, the Lantern Room, was completed.   The old Bantoft Vestry – cold, gloomy and unwelcoming, particularly to those with mobility and hearing difficulties – is now a distant memory.

The Lantern Room is the complete opposite – warm, bright and accessible – with its glass ‘lantern’ roof, level access throughout and new toilet facilities.  It is also bigger, including a large well-equipped kitchen.

We now use it for the 0-5s session as part of our main Ten Thirty Service, for some of our Sunday evening services and also for our prayer meetings.  It’s a great space for our Alpha Course too.

The Lantern Room is a hive of activity for a variety of groups during the week – those like Sunshine Club which previously used the Bantoft Vestry, others like Music and Rhyme which have relocated from the Church Hall and some new groups too, like our Youth Café, Parenting course and upcoming Messy Church.

The building initially caused a bit of a stir with many people disliking the appearance.  It has a pioneering Corten rusting steel cladding, which weathers to produce an oxide layer – both protective and low maintenance.   It quickly turned a orange rust colour which over the year has changed to a deep burnished red.  We are proud that the Lantern Room has won a prestigious award from the Ipswich Society for its architectural design.

We thank God for blessing us with the Lantern Room, enabling us to do so much more towards our Vision – to Know Jesus, Show His Love and Make Him Known.  And we continue to pray for the remaining funds we need (up to £55000 depending on the final VAT bill).

The old Bantoft Vestry

Inside the Lantern Room