A Beacon for Ferndown

by Gerry Lynch last modified 08 Oct, 2015 01:25 PM

Dorset parish celebrates completion of major building project aiming to benefit the whole town

St Mary’s Church in Ferndown is celebrating the completion of a major building project which is set to have benefits for not only for churchgoers, but for all in the town. 

St Mary’s congregation has grown steadily over the years, and with existing facilities under pressure and the need to future-proof for the next generation, the decision was taken to embark upon the Beacon Project, a new hall and foyer-space linking the hall with the church itself. 

The vision behind The Beacon Project was as follows, “St Mary's is privileged to be situated in the heart of Ferndown and the vision is for our church to be a place where anyone and everyone can come ‘just as they are’ and experience a sense of welcome and belonging that is becoming so rare in our increasingly fragmented society.” 

Team Rector, the Revd Sarah Pix, said, “We really want the building to be pivotal as we seek to progress our vision, Transforming Ferndown with Jesus.

“The extended building now has a beautiful glass frontage which enables people to see in. Our beautiful Church building didn’t always look very inviting, belying the warm welcome inside, so one of the briefs for the new building was that it would be open and welcoming. With the new glass fronted spaces, people are now able to seeing the Church family being Church. 

“We have a new room which we hope will be a great resource for local businesses, and the foyer area is lovely and light. Our café area will open to the public later this year. Our hope and prayer is that it will be an enormous blessing to the people of Ferndown, a place where people will feel loved, accepted and listened to.” 

Ferndown Cake Cutting WEB.jpgOn Saturday 3 October, a big ‘Completion Party’ for the whole community was held to celebrate the project’s completion. Bishop Nicholas cut the celebration cake and said, “Great vision, high expectations, hard work and perseverance have made for a wonderful result at The Beacon Centre.  

“It is very impressive but, of course, the new building is not the end.  It is making space for church and community to meet in new ways and this work is only just beginning.” 

Around 1,000 people attended the event which included music from a local Gugge band, a bouncy castle, a hog roast and floral displays in the church.

The contractors on the project were Scully’s, a local firm based in Wimborne, who parish leaders aid worked ‘brilliantly’ with them, being very accommodating of all the current users of the building.

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