A Place to Pray for Crossways

by Gerry Lynch last modified 25 Jun, 2015 05:29 PM

St Aldhelm's is a new church and community hall for what had been the largest Dorset village without one

A Place to Pray for Crossways

The Revd Jacquie Birdseye, Rector of Crossways, leads a diverse pilgrimage of through the village to the new St Aldhelm’s for its dedication.

Bishop Nicholas has dedicated a new church and community hall named St Aldhelm’s at a packed service in Crossways, which had been the largest village in Dorset without a place of worship. 

Crossways, with a population of almost 2,300, has developed largely since the end of the Second World War, so doesn’t have the sort of historic church building common in Dorset villages. It does have a vibrant Christian community, which has worshipped in the youth centre for 20 years, but always had a vision of having a permanent home. 

After a few false dawns and hard work to raise the money over many years, the possibility of building a hall for church and community use adjacent to Frome Valley First School opened up recently. Construction began in 2014 and the new building was dedicated by Bishop Nicholas to St Aldhelm, a Saxon saint who was a key figure in Dorset’s Christian history, on Sunday 21 June. 

St Aldhelms 2.jpgSpeaking after the service, Bishop Nicholas said, “Sunday was a joyful celebration to dedicate the new St Aldhelm’s in Crossways. The church was packed with a diverse group of around 300 people of all age ranges. The community gathered to give thanks for the building that has been wanted for a long time. This is good for the parish of Crossways and for us as a Diocese.” 

The Revd Jacquie Birdseye, Rector of Crossways, Moreton, Tincleton and Woodsford added, “It was a fantastic opportunity to see the community and the church working together. We couldn’t have fitted another person into the packed out service with lots of young families! What a delightful, joyful, happy, occasion.” 

The Venerable Paul Taylor, Archdeacon of Sherborne, who was a key figure in bringing the project to fruition was equally thrilled, saying, “The dedication of St Aldhelm’s gives a permanent home to one of the most exciting and fastest growing congregations in the Diocese of Salisbury. These premises will enable this vibrant Christian community to further contribute to the life of the village.”

The building of the Church was made possible by a partnership with the Diocesan Board of Finance, who provided £300,000 towards costs. Fairer Share helps the Church grow in towns and villages across the Diocese.

Learn more about St Aldhelm’s on its parish website.

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