HOT dogs and how do you do’s were the order of the day as members of a church community in Weymouth organised a welcome barbecue for visitors.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Stavordale Road has been remodelled and made larger under a programme to bring all worshippers in the area under one roof.

The move, part of a diocesan reorganisation, saw the closure last month of historic St Augustine’s at Lodmoor, the first Catholic church to be established in the area since the Reformation.

Following the refurbishment work at St Joseph’s, parishioners decided they would throw open the doors of the new church and hall and invite people to come in and have a look. Hot food was served after a barbecue was fired up and tours were conducted of the premises. Priest in charge of the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea Father Stephen Geddes said it has been an ‘excellent’ day with between 70-80 people attending.

He said: “The vast majority of people who came along were not parishioners but in fact people who live close by who wanted to see what we had done. They have walked past it while the work has been going on for the past year or so and this was their opportunity to have a look inside. It was also an opportunity for us to thank members of the community for bearing with us while the work went on.”

Fr Stephen said people were settling in well to the new church. He added that discussions would be held later this year concerning the future use of St Augustine’s.