Bishop of Southampton reopens Bournemouth church after extensive renovations
One of Bournemouth’s iconic churches reopened its doors this weekend after a 12-month renovation project. The reopening of the newly revitalised St Mike’s Church in Bournemouth was marked by a celebration service led by the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Reverend Debbie Sellin.
During the construction work, services had been held in the church car park as improvements were made to the run-down church building. The renovated church has been altered so that it is bright and welcoming for visitors to the church. It has been transformed so that it can offer not only a vibrant family friendly place of worship, but also to create a community space for a range of groups catering to the needs of people locally.
The church’s updated facilities include modern toilets, improved lighting, new carpets and a new entrance through the Tower, which is being made watertight. As part of the renovation work a coffee bar is also being installed within the church. The St Mike’s team hope to offer a Morning Hub school drop off café several mornings a week which will also offer visitors information about community events and services locally and become a resource in the local area. There is a dynamic international community in West Bournemouth and the staff and volunteers at St Mike’s are keen to offer a welcoming environment to individuals and families of all backgrounds.
Reverend Sarah Yetman, vicar at St Mike’s Bournemouth said:
“We are so excited about being able to invite everyone back into our newly refurbished church building. Our vision at St Mike’s is that the church can be a beacon of light and hope within the local community. We aim to reach more young people and that we can see them come to know Jesus in their own way.”
The Right Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, said:
“It’s amazing what has been achieved at St Mike’s recently, so it was an honour to be able to join with the team here and celebrate the reopening of this wonderful church. They have created a vibrant community hub where people can come to explore their faith and find a sense of belonging. There is so much going on for adults and kids alike, and I would urge everyone to come and take a look at what is on offer.”
St Mike’s has been serving the local community since it was built in the 1800s. Over the years, the church has sought to reach out to those in need, whether through running a homeless shelter in the hall, through being a venue for local addiction support, or more recently hosting the Carpenter’s Workshop, a rehabilitation project for former rough sleepers.
The revitalisation project and the renovation of the church building has been made possible with the help of Strategic Development Funding from the Church of England. As part of the transformation programme, the church is reaching out to people in their 20s and 30s the biggest age group represented in the local community, as well as creating a place of welcome for those speaking the 55 different languages of the church primary school. The new church will be formally launched in December.