Mayor of Shrewsbury Ioan Jones, Local Councillor Alan Townsend and Shrewsbury Town Council’s Robert Handley were among the guests at a Dedication Service for the recently opened Hermitage Centre, at Belle Vue Chapel. The service follows a long period of refurbishments to the buildings made possible largely by a generous legacy from Kath Bate and grant funding of £10,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust, £3,000 from Shrewsbury Town Council, as well as Circuit funding and several fundraising initiatives led by Belle Vue members and friends, plus donations they have made.
Leading the service Revd. Silas Wood thanked all of the funders, the architects, builders, electricians and the myriad of people who have helped in so many ways towards completion of the project. His appeal to continue encouraging local community groups to fully utilise the premises and for those working and worshipping within the church to encourage each other, were echoed by District Chair Revd. Rachel Parkinson who gave the address. The newness, she said, would reinvigorate “that family of people here who love God and love each other as Jesus loves each one of you. That holy love of God that, people coming into this building will be able to sense, it will pervade the whole atmosphere.”
The drive to assess what funds were necessary then set about raising the amount, Revd. Wood said, started with a single church member, Mervyn Bradley taking on a sponsored swim. Special mention was also made of Martin Beardwell who rigorously completed grant applications, and Mike Hallworth who tirelessly oversaw and co-ordinated the project, keeping people informed of the progress. All at Belle Vue Chapel are pleased with the results; the expansion and transformation of parts of the building from its former state of disrepair, and the opportunities the building now provides for the local community to be welcomed, to a comfortable space, where they can share in God’s love.