Work is due to start before Christmas on a new church for Crossways – the fastest growing village in West Dorset, with a population of 2,500, and another 1,000 homes expected to be built in the next 10 years.

Crossways-school-high-resIt is hoped work will start on laying the foundations St Aldhelm’s Crossways Community Church before Christmas.

The church is being built next to Frome Valley Church of England First School, in the same eco-friendly style of architecture, and will offer extra facilities for schoolchildren.

The local community and the church have raised £100,000 towards the project, while the diocese is contributing the rest to complete the total, expected to be in the region of £250,000.

Rev Jacquie Birdseye, vicar of the united benefice of Moreton, Crossways, Woodsford and Tincleton, said the whole community was looking forward to the church being opened next year. “We will have a glorious opening day when the Bishop of Salisbury will come to dedicate it and the whole community will be invited to celebrations throughout the whole day,” she said.

The church, which will accommodate 200 people, will be a multi-use space, and as well as being used for school events such as after-school clubs, will also be available for concerts, exhibitions and even sports activities.

The move will see the bell-tower, erected when the school was built six years ago, become the focal point of the new church. The church was originally going to be built next to the school, but a covenant was placed on the land that it could only be used for educational purposes. The covenant has now been lifted, allowing the church to be built.

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