A NEW church is Shaw is looking to build its congregation after converting a former card shop into a place of worship.
Hope Church opened its doors in the Autumn after a year’s work to alter the premises on the corner of Eastway and Milne Street.
Already it has attracted a congregation of about 50 adults and children after the dream of Shaw residents David and Jan Collins became a reality.
It set up opposite the Asda supermarket after buying premises in August 2017 and spending much of this year converting it.
It was also a collection point for refreshments for the firefighters who tackled the moorland fires in the summer.
But it has its eye on becoming even bigger, especially after more than 200 people came through its door at the Shaw and Crompton Christmas lights switch-on.
From small beginnings with just a handful of people the church grew, with many of the ‘originals’ doing much of the refurb themselves.
Members gave up many hours to restructure the downstairs layout to provide a worship hall, refreshment area and toilet blocks.
Many resources were donated right down to bathroom floor tiles and the team effort has been rewarded with a completed modern, practical space.
David, who is Hope Church’s pastor, said: “We are seeking to build a church that will declare the good news of Jesus and serve the community of Shaw.
“We believe God intended the Christian faith to be lived out in community.
“The church is more than just a meeting on Sunday morning; it is who we are and what we do all week.
“We aim to share our lives with one another in community throughout the week and be part of the community in Shaw.”
Pastor Collins admits Hope’s involvement in the Christmas lights switch-on was a boost – as much for the awareness among the community as anything else.
He added: “It was brilliant. There was such a community atmosphere and we could show the lovely people of Shaw what we’ve done with the building.
“We were asked many times that day, ‘What kind of church are you?’
“Well our worship is with a band, usually guitars, we don’t read set prayers but are encouraged to speak out our prayers of thanksgiving and requests to God.
“We have a Sunday School which the children attend while the adults listen to a speaker.
“I guess you could call us evangelical, but our emphasis is much more on loving God and serving people than what is on our name!”
• SERVICES at Hope Church on Eastway start at 10.30am every Sunday.
If you would like to find out more and what’s going on then visit the website