After more than 10 years of planning and fundraising, residents of Byfleet can at last use their new community hall at St Mary’s church, following the official opening by Bishop Jo in early December.
Bishop Jo cut the ribbon on the hall’s brand new kitchen facilities, after the themed ‘Thankyou’ all-age service. Attendees were served Prosecco and canapés prepared onsite.
St Mary’s rector, Revd John McCabe, said: “The day was fabulous – so many people came and from so many walks of life and connections with St Mary’s! It was really encouraging and very moving.
“We were very honoured to have Deputy Mayor of Woking, Cllr Graham Cundy, present as well as MP Jonathan Lord, and Bishop Jo did a great job of officially opening us for business and service!”
The initiative to replace the old hall, built in 1965, began over 10 years ago, during which time the St Mary’s team steadfastly worked to source the funds required.
£200,000 was raised to make the dream a reality through various grant schemes and a multitude of fundraising events such as tea dances, discos, running festivals, craft fairs and much more.
The community hall includes a kitchen and storage facility and has enough space to host functions, as well as serving as a meeting area. Among other events to be held there the hall is now available to book for private functions - contact Mark Laver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revd McCabe added: “When I arrived in 2006 it was clear that ‘the hall project’ had been on-going for some while and had proved a challenge not quite able to be overcome.
“Over the lifetime of the project we have been through so many ups and downs – appointing architects and new contractors, receiving grants and donations, to financial shocks and setbacks. We are full of thanksgiving that the work has been done to the highest standard and to all who have helped and contributed.”