Our new Lantern Room was officially opened with an all-day event on Sunday 29th April. The name was chosen not only to reflect its striking lantern roof but because, like the lighted cross on the church tower, the name proclaims that Jesus is the Light of the World and the church shines His light into the parish, like a lantern.
The celebrations started with a lively 10.30 service attended by nearly 200 people, some first- time visitors. As always tea and coffee were served beforehand, and afterwards there was cake as well. Over 100 people stayed on for a free lunch, to explore the new building and the church and to enjoy the day.
In the afternoon members of the church family shared their interests with visitors. Activities included model train rides in the garden, a quiz and a language taster in the main church, and flower arranging and cake decorating in the new room. At 4 o’clock, more tea and cakes were served.
Finally, in the evening, the Bishop of Dunwich Mike Harrison led a special service and gave his blessing to the new Lantern Room by sprinkling its four corners – and most of the congregation – with holy water.
We know that the outside appearance of our new room is not to everyone’s taste: our vicar has described it as a “Marmite building.” We chose a modern design partly as a contrast to the ‘pebbledash gothic’ of the original building, but also to show that we are a 21st century church with a vision for the future. On the inside the Lantern Room is warm, bright, and comfortable. It provides fully accessible toilets, excellent kitchen facilities, and a splendid level access main entrance to the church. If you haven’t yet seen inside we would be delighted to welcome you to a 10.30 Service on any Sunday morning; tea and coffee are served every Sunday from 10:10 a.m. and warm welcome awaits.