A WEYMOUTH church centre celebrates five years of serving the community as an ‘inclusive space’ for all.

Next month will mark five years since the Bishop of Sherborne officially opened the St Aldhelm’s Church Centre on Spa Road.

With the anniversary fast approaching, centre manager Peter Bennett looks back at the successes of the project.

He said: “The word that frequently gets used for the first five years is challenge but it has gone very well. We have started to really significantly improve the numbers of people who know we actually exist and the facilities we have on offer are first class.”

The centre was built as a multi-purpose site for people of all faiths to use as they wish whether for business meetings, conferences or children’s parties.

Peter said: “The initial idea, from a church point of view, was to be an inclusive space for groups to use as and when they want. The initial premise was all about engaging with the community.

“From a church point of view it was to impart the idea of religion, but also invite people to come along and use the facilities and recognise that church people are not or different, we are just regular people.”

With a large function hall and five meeting rooms, the centre can comfortably accommodate parties of ten to groups of 180 people.

“In the last five years people have really got to know us. A lot of groups use the facilities regularly, we have a lot of exercise classes, the University of the Third Age Weymouth hold monthly meetings here along with off-shoot language classes and Tai Chi.

“The original remit was never just about making money, it was to get community groups using it the centre and people coming out and forging new friendships and not having to stay in their homes and I think we have achieved that.”

To mark the occasion there will be a family fun day at the centre on Saturday, June 10.