IT TOOK 12 years in the making – but finally a new £3.2million religious building opened its doors to the public.
Work had begun to build the new Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle church, in London Road, Waterlooville, in 2009.
And last night around 600 worshippers witnessed its first service – the dedication of the church.
Judith Hoar, was part of the new church committee, which over saw the project.
She said: ‘It’s taken us a long time to get here, but it’s wonderful to finally see it open.
‘We have a lot more space now and more facilities than our previous place of worship.
‘I was excited about the service too as it’s the first time I’ve seen a dedication ceremony.’
The new church features a distinctive tower, an eco-friendly design, a kitchen and a hall, which can be divided into three different rooms.
It replaces the convent chapel on the London Road site which the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity have allowed the parish to use since 1923.
Bishop Crispian Hollis, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, dedicate the church.
Other guests included Cllr Ken Smith the Lord Mayor of Havant and MP George Hollingbery.
The name of the church combines its previous name of Sacred Heart, with the name of a former school, which was on the grounds – St Peter Apostle School.
Rosalie Cuthbert, of Purbrook Gardens, Purbrook, said: ‘I have been going to the church for 40 years and was it good to see this service.
‘There has been a lot of work that has gone into this, from the stained glass windows to other artwork.’
Fellow church-goer Frances Halliday, of Covert Grove, Waterlooville, said: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing our parish in a modern building that is appropriate for the 21st century.’