PORTSMOUTH’S newest church has been launched – with a real party atmosphere.
Harbour Church, which has been created in a refurbished department store in the city centre, held its first ever Sunday service last weekend after a summer of preparation.
Around 200 people squeezed into the worship area on the first floor above Sprinkles ice cream parlour in Commercial Road.
They enjoyed real coffee and pastries, modern worship songs, a lively sermon and chilled-out children’s groups.
The church has been created as a ‘church plant’ from St Peter’s Church, Brighton – 30 worshippers have moved jobs or started university courses in Portsmouth to form the core congregation.
It is part of a £2.4m strategy to create new worshipping communities.
For the first service they were joined by well-wishers from other churches and large numbers of newcomers who wanted to check out what they had to offer.
Among them were Peter and Elke Haworth and their children Sophie, 10, Samuel, seven and Sarah, five.
Peter said: ‘We moved to Portsmouth about a year ago and have been looking for a church like our previous one in Burgess Hill.
‘One of our friends liked this place on Facebook and it seemed similar to our previous church. We liked the style of worship and also the breadth of the children’s work for our three children.
‘We’re also pleased that the church wants to get involved in the local community. It’s exciting to be involved with something right from the start.’
Portsmouth’s Anglican diocese asked to work with St Peter’s, Brighton, to create a church that would specifically appeal to students and young adults – although all are welcome.
For more details, go to harbourchurchportsmouth.org or portsmouth.anglican.org/liveservepray.
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