The Salvation Army church on Tofts Road has been designed with the community in mind –glass has been used creatively throughout the interior so that wherever people are in the building, they can see the church hall, acting as a visual invitation to people to come to church. On the roof there are 28 solar panels, while at ground level there is an air source heat pump, generating enough electricity to power the church and removing the need for a gas boiler on site, making it a ‘greener’build.
On Saturday 2 September 2017 The Salvation Army’s national leader, Territorial Commander Commissioner Clive Adams, officially opened the new purpose-built church at the heart of the Barton-upon-Humber community.
The opening ceremony marked the conclusion of a “long but worthwhile journey”, with church members fundraising for almost two decades to create the new building that will serve their community.
The church leaders are Captains Alan and Althea Bawden. Captain Alan Bawden, said:
“We are grateful to our neighbours who have been so patient and supportive during our journey to complete the new church. Since the work finished, it’s been fantastic to see every day someone has popped in to have a look around –I even dog-sat for our most recent visitor so they didn’t miss out on a quick tour!
“We have been really looking forward to welcoming our community into their new church –this building is not only for those who attend The Salvation Army, it is here for every one and we’re hoping people will join us to access the activities on offer and to find a warm welcome and personal experience of God.”
The striking new church has a safe, enclosed outdoor children’s play area with soft flooring, for which Barton Rotary has provided outdoor play equipment and the parent-and-toddler group has tried and tested. There is also set to be an onsite caféfor the community to access and the Barton Foodbank will now store, sort and distribute items (in addition to its distribution point at Barton Methodist Church) from a self-contained unit in the garden, providing emergency food to people who need it.
Church members are looking forward to relaunching all their activities on Monday 4 September, starting with the luncheon and friendship clubs. Regular activities had been paused during the works from September 2016 to June 2017, with Sunday church services continuing offsite, while the congregation regularly returned to Tofts Road to meet the community and provide outdoor church services.
Captain Althea Bawden said: “Over the past week our building has been a phoenix rising from the ashes, springing to life in a flurry of activity and visitors ahead of our official opening. Today, we’ve marched down the street with a full band to announce that we are open and ready to welcome people in, whether that’s for a cup of tea and a chat, to take part in our activities or to seek practical assistance –we’re here to serve them.”
The official opening was conducted by The Salvation Army national church leader Commissioner Clive Adams, who, with his wife Commissioner Marianne Adams, is responsible for more than 800 churches and centres in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The weekend’s celebrations included a march from Pitman Avenue to the hall with the band, afternoon tea and a music festival by Sheffield Citadel Salvation Army Band that was attended by a number of civic dignitaries.
Commissioner Adams said:
“It’s always great to open a new Salvation Army hall but here it’s even more special because of the long journey and dedication of the church to reach this point. Already, new people are coming in, there’s a buzz about the place and there’s an expectation that God’s going to continue to bless the work here.
“Today, people were on the street during our march to the new building –it’s evident The Salvation Army already has a place here in people’s hearts; we are a part of their community and they celebrated with us.”
Captain Althea Bawden said: “We have continued to have a strong presence in our community during this process, but we are looking forward to coming ‘home’and welcoming our community to church. Already we’ve had new volunteers join up to support our parent-and-toddler group and we’re always looking for more people to help out –it’s a new church for us all so you can guarantee you’ll feel as at home as quickly as we will!”