RELATED: Vision takes shape on River Road
THE Horsham Church of Christ community will realise a long-term dream at the weekend.
The church will open the doors to its new home in River Road for an open day on Saturday, ahead of a grand opening service on Sunday.
The church’s congregation outgrew its former home in Baillie Street, and the building was put on the market in 2010.
Church leaders have been working since then to make their vision for a new home a reality.
The new church offers seating for 350 people on the floor level of its chapel, with room for another 150 people on a mezzanine level.
Ministry team leader Simon Risson said the new building offered limitless possibilities in the way it could be used.
“Primarily it’s about who we are and how we want to function and work together throughout the week, especially for our Sunday services, which are our largest single gathering,” he said.
“But we also wanted to create flexibility to host things like funerals and afternoon teas.
“We haven’t had our own space to do that for many years.”
Mr Risson said he hoped the new space would encourage the church’s congregation to grow.
“The building has a necessity about it. If you are a dynamic group of people, and more people come in, you run out of space,” he said.
“But there’s a larger story of our relationship with God through Jesus that we hope awakens people to something new that they haven’t heard before.”
The new home features various spaces that will allow the church to run multiple activities and sessions at once, including its craft, seniors, youth and children’s groups.
“There are people who would like to run marriage courses, and others who have thought about homework clubs – the scope is endless really,” Mr Risson said.
He said the tradespeople working on the project had been amazing.
“To come in and have conversations with them and to hear their passion for doing a good job has been a lot of fun,” he said.
“Our foreman Mick Smith has been absolutely brilliant.
“The connection with people has been great, and the finished result is much better than we ever anticipated or expected.
“The connection, sense of warmth and welcome that we wanted to create was important to us, and we think we’ve achieved it.”
The open day will run from 10am to 3pm, and will include a barbecue, live music, a dunk tank, and children’s activities. Sunday’s service starts at 10am.