On at a cinema near you... church services

Photo: David Hurst'Inglewhite Congregational Church Pastor, John Irwin in Longridge Cinema, which has become the churches temporary home while the church is renovated
Photo: David Hurst'Inglewhite Congregational Church Pastor, John Irwin in Longridge Cinema, which has become the churches temporary home while the church is renovated

SUNDAY services have hit the big screen for one village church.

The congregation at the Inglewhite Congregational Church has found a temporary home at the Palace Cinema in Longridge while work is carried out on a £450,000 expansion plan at the church.

It is hosting its Sunday morning services every week at the cinema.

Pastor John Irwin said the church had found a warm welcome since it started using the cinema on Market Place in the town centre.

He said: “It is a fantastic building – a real community hub – and we are inviting everyone in Longridge who does not have a church home to come along and join in with our activities during our stay.

“We have had a really warm welcome since we got here and we are promising anyone who comes to join us a warm welcome as well.”

The church has appointed Preston-based architects Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) to expand its church on Silk Mill Lane, Inglewhite.

The church dates back to 1826 and work started last month on extending the building to house its growing congregation aand to add new rooms for junior church community and youth activities.

FWP managing partner Martin Whittle said it had started work on a “sensitive extension” to the Grade II listed building.

He said: “It is in keeping with the village and will be a major asset to the church.

“The church is thriving and the extension will allow it to continue to grow and to offer modern facilities for the congregation and wider community.

“This is a significant investment in the church and in its future.”

Pastor Irwin said that the extension was in response to demand among local people to worship at the church.

He said it had also seen a boom in demand for its toddlers’ group, youth club and coffee mornings, which would all benefit from the improvement works.

The pastor added: “The extension is the result of our growth and the fact that as a result our present building is just too small for our needs.

“One option was to move, but people come here from a wide area and we feel Inglewhite is our home. It is a genuinely caring and kind community and we want our future to be here.”

l Inglewhite Congregational Church holds services at the Palace Cinema in Longridge from 10.45am every Sunday, with activities for young people running until 7pm.