A former electrical store in Larne town centre has been converted into a new church and community centre.
Around 140 people were in attendance to see the Salvation Army premises officially opened by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow.
Taking part was a Salvation Army brass band and many children had their faces painted.
Corps officers, Captains Philip and Annemarie Cole were very pleased with the support given on the day and hope this will be a positive starting point for the new chapter in their already 132 year-history.
The former shop has been transformed into an environment which can accommodate church services as well as a busy mid-week programme.
Consideration has been given to the layout and interior of the building to help those with dementia, and their carers. The building offers a quiet space complete with books and magazines available to read, borrow or buy. Prior to their relocation to 71 Main Street, the church was meeting at 63 Main Street following their long-history in Point Street.
This new facility will enable the church to accommodate more people in a comfortable and practical way. They have recently signed up to be part of the ‘Chatty café’ scheme where members of the public can join a table and engage in conversation with people they may not know.
Captain Annemarie said: “This is a great opportunity for our congregation and the community to develop as a whole. Our vision for the church is to create as safe space for fellowship and worship.”
The Salvation Army said it is grateful to the landlord and everyone who has supported in anyway, as well as those who have worked hard to create a place which is welcoming.
Captain Philip said: “This building will help enable the ministry of the church to be more effective. Our weekly programme of activities will continue as normal at the new location, with our Opening Doors drop-in running every Tuesday and Thursday, from 10am to 1pm, and a Wednesday coffee morning, from 10am-12pm. Everything we do is payment by donation. We also have a prayer meeting on a Sunday morning at 10.15am followed by worship at 10.30am.”
To help with their community work, T
The Salvation Army is looking for more volunteers, those interested can email Philip or Annemarie at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 2826 7088.