Ear­ley church starts work on new com­mu­nity cen­tre

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wok­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk

A NEW com­mu­nity cen­tre be­ing built in Ear­ley cel­e­brated one mile­stone yes­ter­day and is look­ing for­ward to an­other on Sun­day.

Yes­ter­day, traf­fic into Sut­cliffe Av­enue was brought to a stand­still as a new tem­po­rary build­ing was lifted 100ft into the air, moved over the roof of St Ni­co­las Church and placed in its gardens.

And on Sun­day, the Bishop of Read­ing, the Rt Revd An­drew Proud, will visit the Ear­ley church at noon to take part in a ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for the new cen­tre. He will be joined by the mayor of Ear­ley, Cllr Michael Fir­mager.

When fin­ished, the new com­mu­nity cen­tre will act as a hub for lo­cal res­i­dents and see the church ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ties it can of­fer peo­ple.

The church hopes that all sorts of groups, char­i­ties and good causes – from dog train­ing to a chil­dren’s nurs­ery; from Pi­lates to scouts – will make use of the new fa­cil­i­ties.

The cen­tre came about after a life­long mem­ber of St Ni­co­las, Pat Dum­mer, gen­er­ously do­nated a sub­stan­tial legacy in her will.

The church spent months lis­ten­ing to neigh­bours to find out what was needed lo­cally: the vi­sion for the St Ni­co­las Cen­tre was born.

The new build­ing will fea­ture many great spa­ces – inside and out – along­side a large hall, the church it­self and an airy, lounge space con­nect­ing the two.

The church hopes that the new St Ni­co­las Cen­tre will be an ac­ces­si­ble and wel­com­ing space to meet friends and join in with church ac­tiv­i­ties, com­mu­nity and char­ity groups.

The church was launched on the site 70 years ago, in 1947.

Some church mem­bers who still re­mem­ber those early days will be at the Break­ing Ground Cer­e­mony on Sun­day.

The Revd Neil War­wick, Vicar of St Ni­co­las, said: “I’m so ex­cited this day has come.

“The peo­ple of Ear­ley re­ally need a good com­mu­nity space and we’re de­lighted to be able to make that hap­pen with the St Ni­co­las Cen­tre.

“St Ni­co­las Church is about be­ing open to God and our com­mu­nity and the Cen­tre is a bril­liant sign of that.”

The con­struc­tion is due to take seven months and should be fin­ished by early 2018.

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