A CHURCH in Kidderminster will be able to play an even bigger part in the community after officially opening its new atrium extension.

Pastor Rob Palmer and Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier opened the improved area of Franche Community Church, in Chestnut Grove, at a special ceremony held earlier this month.

The building project to enlarge the previous premises started in the early autumn of 2013. The ground at the front of the church had foundations laid and the building was built with finishing touches added earlier this spring.

Builder Lee Davies and architect Grace Plant had worked with church leaders throughout the process to ensure weekly events at the facility could still continue.

Mr Palmer, at the open evening on June 3, said: "It was a project of faith for the members of the church to venture into the work to provide a community room not only for current event such as coffee mornings and prayer meetings, being a general meeting room and Macmillan coffee mornings but also to provide a facilities for the community of Franche itself - such as a children's play room and general community happenings.

"Each Sunday morning we have celebration and Bible teaching in the main church building and the children can now use the atrium. The previous community centre was demolished a few years ago to make way for houses at Willow Court.

"The money for the building was a big step of prayer and faith. As we prayed, the finances came in to enable us to get the work done. The opening was a big week, we invited everyone from those who partnered with us in the build to local councillors and dignitaries as well as people from the estate itself to coming and see what the church has to offer."

Money was given towards the project by church members and sponsors including Franche Co-op, Bewdley Round Table and was supported by Wyre Forest District Council.

Mr Garnier said: "I felt humbled to be at the open evening with the church and was impressed by the work of the church, including its delivery of food to needy people in the Wyre Forest area from its foodbank."