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Historic Totton church transferring to soccer club during £2m rebuild

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From left are the Rev. Chris Steed, the Rev. Simon Young and Archdeacon of Bournemouth the Ven. Peter Rouch
From left are the Rev. Chris Steed, the Rev. Simon Young and Archdeacon of Bournemouth the Ven. Peter Rouch

THE congregation of a grade II-listed church which has closed for major repairs is set to attend services at the local football club instead.

The last service at St Winfrid's Church in Salisbury Road, Totton, took place on 4th November and included a special thanksgiving service to mark its 80th birthday.

From 2nd December services will be held in the Monarch Suite at AFC Totton, just over one mile away. The major overhaul is expected to be completed in 2021.

A statement on the church website said: “St Winfrid’s Church is building for the future.

“With a beautiful but poorly-built listed building to take into account, the congregation of St Winfrid’s has taken the brave decision to close the building for two to three years for total refurbishment, reopening in 2021 in a building which will by then be fit for purpose – for community and church use alike.”

The repairs have yet to be fully costed, but previous estimates have suggested the bill could be as high as £2m.

The work will be funded by the Church Commissioners, a charity that looks after buildings owned by the Church of England.

Talking about the plans, The Rev. Chris Steed told the A&T: “It's quite a unique opportunity for a church to go into partnership with a football club. We're excited about the future.”

The regular Sunday worship services will continue as normal and future events planned include a contemporary music event for teens and Christmas carols.

The Messy Church toddler group will continue monthly at St Winfrid’s for the time being and Café Church will continue on the second Sunday of each month at 4.15pm at Thistledonicely, Water Lane, Totton. The soft play group Ickle Village, which is also housed at the church, will also continue as normal.

Sports chaplain at AFC Totton, Simon Young, called the move “a new and exciting partnership of opportunity and friendship, supporting our wonderful town”.

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