First service celebrations

First service at the new Church built on the village hall. The service was taken by the Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon (right) pictured with the fundraising committee (not in order): Marie Andrew, John Hoffman, Albert and Sheila Sismey, Margaret Bedford, Rose Clarke and the Rev Mike Jones with his wife Sue.

First service at the new Church built on the village hall. The service was taken by the Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon (right) pictured with the fundraising committee (not in order): Marie Andrew, John Hoffman, Albert and Sheila Sismey, Margaret Bedford, Rose Clarke and the Rev Mike Jones with his wife Sue.

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THE new home of Benwick Church on Sunday held its first service under Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon following a seven-year wait.

The long-awaited new home for the church in the High Street finally opened its doors after development work costing £200,000. The village has lacked a proper church after the Wesleyan Chapel closed for safety reasons.

It was the third place of worship to be lost in the village after the Baptist Chapel and St Mary’s Church were also shut down in the 1980s.

The Friends of Benwick Church raised more than £100,000 towards the cost of developing the existing village hall to create a new home for the church.

Fenland District Council matched this amount to cover the £200,000 cost of the extension.

Beforehand worshippers had to congregate in the meeting room of the village hall and services had been cut to twice a month.

As well as the church, the project also saw a new roof for the hall and the installation of solar panels.