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Religious group finds new home

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Religious group finds new home

Leanne Ehren, Saffron-Walden Weekly News

Jehovah's Witnesses are “thrilled” to finally have their first permanent home in a town after years of nomadic worship.

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Rowntree Way, Saffron Walden, officially opened last Saturday after a £15,000 major refurbishment.

Up to 100 volunteers at any one time were on the site, which was previously the clubhouse for the St Raphael Club, helping with the revamp earlier in the summer.

Cliff Bard, one of the elders, said: “We’re just thrilled to finally have a place here in the town that we can call home.

“We’ve never had a permanent place and we’ve held our meetings everywhere and anywhere, from schools, to village halls and even the back of pubs.

“This project has just been amazing for us. Most people in the community only see us on their doorsteps, they don’t see us working together like this to create a wonderful hub of activity. If it wasn’t for the volunteers, this would not have been possible.”

Mr Bard also said the Kingdom Hall has now been licensed to hold weddings for Jehovah’s Witness couples and the congregation is looking to have its own registrar within a year.

The group, which has nearly 60 worshippers and meets in the hall on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings, bought the old clubhouse in a “neglected state” from the St Raphael Club for £140,000 earlier this year.

Building and refurbishment work was steered by the organisation’s regional building committee, which is a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses from all over the south-east who are specially trained to convert, refurbish and build new halls.

The now light and bright space has been remodelled with a new suspended ceiling, sound system, kitchen, library and main seating area.

Cherryl Pigg, of Thaxted Road, along with her husband John has been with the congregation for 25 years. She said: “I think we’re on the map now and we’ve got somewhere we can take people that we’re really proud of. This is wonderful for us and for other people in the community.”

Article Source: Saffron-Walden Weekly News


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