St Albans church ready to rebuild community building after arson attack

A CHURCH community in St Albans has raised almost �700,000 to replace a building that was destroyed by an arson attack two years ago and has shared some of its congregation’s generosity with deprived children in Africa.

Members of Christ Church in High Oaks raised the cash to replace the St Andrews community building which will provide a new hall, office and meeting room as well as a modern kitchen and toilets.

The work will bring together the community building and the existing Christ Church building and rename it the Christ Church centre.

Nick Lee, a churchwarden, said: “Christ Church is excited by the opportunities that will be available to the local community to use the new church hall and facilities that are being built to replace the old Shack that was lost in an arson attack two years ago.

“We want this to be a resource for the local community, providing a range of activities for all to enjoy, young and old alike.”

While the foundations of the new building are just taking hold, further afield in Zambia the Church has given 10 per cent of the �700,000 raised by its members to the Works of Faith Church which has purchased land and built classrooms with the money.

The school, which was previously held within the small church building, will support over 200 children at primary and secondary level.

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Nick said: “We didn’t want this to be an all-consuming project for us alone. Despite current economic circumstances, we have so much more than others in the world and we are delighted to have found a project in Zambia, where we are giving both financial and practical support to help build a school.

“This is a great opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those who have far less than us materially, yet could teach us much about happiness.”

The congregation have no plans to stop once the building is completed next year and are already looking at ways to raise �100,000 to furnish the new building, fit solar panels to its roof and adapt the existing building.

They also hope to donate even more money to the Works of Faith Church, to enable them to complete the first phase of the work. Fundraising events include a craft fair on November 27 from 10am-12pm at Christ Church and an Auction of Promises evening on December 4 at STAGS.