FOR a long time the members of Buckland United Reformed Church on Kingston Road had a dream.
They wanted be able to reorder their vast 700-seater church, into a building that gave them a contemporary worship space and enabled them to relate better to their local community.
The dream became reality when the builders handed the church back just before Christmas. The transformation is amazing!
Gone are the endless rows of dark pews and the oppressive gallery on all four sides. Now our worship space is a glorious light space revealing delightful windows with coloured leaded lights.
There is quality audio-visual equipment. During the week we will be happy to hire this incredible space to others in the community for conferences and meetings.
The entrance is now a community café called The Clock and will open on February 22. It has a slightly nostalgic feel, using some of the artefacts from the old church – part of the gold leaf metal surround from the original pulpit is below the counter. The organ stops and one of the manuals will be displayed on the wall. Customers will sit on chapel chairs at rustic tables.
Our turret clock symbolises our regeneration. The clock, which hadn’t worked for years, has had its faces repainted and the original works replaced with an electronic mechanism.
At night it is illuminated in blue – a colour often associated with the URC and of course with Pompey.
The bell and clockworks have been retained. After hundreds of hours of patient working, one of our members, Tom Atrill, has done an amazing job of restoring the bell and cleaning and reassembling the clock mechanism.
Both items of our heritage are on permanent display in the worship area.
On Sunday, February 14 at 3pm we will have a special re-opening service when the preacher will be the Rev David Grosch-Miller, our national moderator.
Come and see the amazing transformation for yourself by joining us one Sunday morning at 10.30am or popping in for a coffee and cake when the café opens on February 22.
n BUCKLAND UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, 174 Kingston Road, Portsmouth, PO2 7LP
Main service: 10.30am each Sunday
Minister: Cliff Bembridge Phone (023) 9269 7320 or email email@example.com