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CHURCH LATEST: Building work on new £1.6m community centre underway

Thursday 14th October 2021

DEMOLITION works have begun to tear down Ringlestone Hall to make room for a new two storey community centre.

St Faith’s Church was given planning permission last year for a place of worship in the heart of Ringlestone and will sell the existing town centre church building near Maidstone Museum.

The 1871 church will continue to be used by the congregation until the centre is built.

Rev Canon Arthur Houston said he anticipates building work will take about a year to complete.

Rev Houston said: “The church hall has been a much-used community facility since 1935, but sadly it is showing its age and is no longer fit for purpose.

“It is rare for a church to get planning permission, but it will also serve as a multi-functional community centre. There will be a nursery, lunches and events held there seven days a week. People will be able to come and go all day long.”

One reason for the new church is the diminishing population in Maidstone town centre and the increasing population of its Springfield and Ringlestone parish areas, largely related to new homes.

The new £1.6million St Faith’s Centre will have a meeting room with a generous kitchen on the ground floor which could accommodate a nursery school or day-care facility.

Upstairs, five multi-purpose rooms are planned, with lift access.

The back garden is seen as a “tranquil space for meeting and sharing”. Car parking is also included in the plans.

The project is being paid for by various housing developers, grant-funding bodies, fundraisers and the sale of the old church building.