NEW window displays have been unveiled as work starts to convert a former shop in Wrexham town centre into a new kind of Christian community.

The windows at 1 Hope Street show the sort of work already being undertaken by churches in Wrexham and illustrate their future ambitions.

The 1930s building, a former Burton’s clothes store, was bought by the Diocese of St Asaph earlier this year and a £1.9m grant from the Church in Wales will help establish a Christian space designed particularly for young people and families.

The Archdeacon of Wrexham, John Lomas, who is part of the project planning team, said: “We’re really excited that behind the new window displays, work is getting underway to create a Christian centre that will offer a warm welcome to everyone.

The Leader:

New window displays have been unveiled as work starts to convert a former shop in Wrexham town centre into a new kind of Christian community

“The three-storey building will include a worship space on the top floor, offices and meeting rooms on the middle floor and hospitality areas on the ground floor. The building will be a base for social justice activities such as the church’s work with people who are homeless and children facing holiday hunger.

“Refurbishment work will continue into next year and we anticipate that Hope Street will open in September 2020.”

Hope Street is being run in partnership with existing churches in Wrexham and the Church Revitalisation Trust (CRT), which has a track record in opening and growing new churches. CRT is now training the first members of the newly appointment leadership team. Rachel and Andy Kitchen have experience working with churches and communities in Nottingham and London and will be moving to Wrexham with their family to take up this post. Both have been working in vibrant growing churches, running projects supporting rough sleepers, people in debt and families.

The Leader:

Mr Lomas added: “We are delighted to announce the first members of the leadership team for Hope Street. Rachel and Andy bring a strong track record of Christian work in urban areas and we look forward to introducing them to the communities of Wrexham. We’ll be looking to announce further job opportunities at Hope Street in due course.”

Hope Street is the first project to be awarded funding from the Church in Wales’ £10m Evangelism Fund. The fund was launched last year for ambitious schemes to engage people with the Christian faith in vibrant and exciting ways. Its £10m is being released from the Church’s investments which are overseen by the its Representative Body.

The Diocese of St Asaph is one of the six dioceses of the Church in Wales, an independent Province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.