The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, stood in the shell of the new church and community centre to bless the St Michael’s Church Heart of the Community project on Saturday (13 September). Bray & Slaughter’s latest work on site will complete the transformation of what was once a derelict piece of land in the middle of the South Gloucestershire community into a new place of worship and a community centre. Archbishop Welby, who described the £5.5m project as ‘wonderful’, ‘courageous’ and ‘exciting’ also dedicated the building, which is still under construction, during his visit to the Bristol Diocese.
The building, which is on the site of old farm barns in North Road, is the centrepiece of the project, which also includes refurbishing the neighbouring Old School Rooms and renovating the 14th Century church. He said: “This project warms my heart. This is not about a community building: this is about building a community. It is a great example of what the church does best, which is loving and serving and transforming – and it’s about the future." Archbishop Welby told an audience of nearly 200 members of St Michael’s Church, community representatives and workers on the project, that the church was embedded in serving its community now more than at any time since 1945. Read more about the project in our Press Release.