Revd Cannon Arthur Houston

Work is now complete on St Faith’s Centre, a brand new church and community centre in the Springfield and Ringlestone area of Maidstone.

The site celebrated its opening with a special service on Sunday 30th July, with those from the local community coming through its doors.

Leading the service was the Revd Canon Arthur Houston [pictured below], who oversaw the project as Priest in Charge of the Maidstone, St Faith Benefice.

Talking about the new centre opening, Revd Arthur said: “We took control of the building on the Friday, had a team in it cleaning on Saturday, and then on Sunday we opened the doors not knowing who would come.

“We had over a hundred people here; the place was pretty full. 

“So we’re going to discover what’s the best way to engage with people and to share our faith in a meaningful way.

“The main vision for this was that we wanted to serve the local community better, but also to grow the church.

“We’re going to emphasise the youth aspect very strongly.”

Also in attendance at the opening was the Bishop of Dover, Rt Revd Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin who gave a Prayer of Dedication to mark the gathering for worship in the new building.

Speaking about the project, she said: “This is the first new church to be built in the Diocese of Canterbury in many years.

“It signals an exciting new phase in the life of this community.

“The creativity, commitment and tenacity of those who have birthed this project over many years is something for us all to celebrate and learn from.”

St Faith’s Centre is a modern, bright and accessible multi-purpose space offering a main hall, as well as a nursery, café, quiet area, and meeting rooms.

It also offers accessible facilities that can be accessed via a lift.

The land was previously occupied by an old church hall built in 1935, which had fallen into disrepair, and the vicarage.

A decision was made that the parish church (St Faith’s) in the centre of Maidstone didn’t meet the needs of the people who lived in the community in terms of location, so this was sold to a different faith group to help fund the project.

The Centre was then built on the doorstep of the community that it will go on to serve, with construction work beginning in 2021.

A garden to the rear of the property is to be used by local people who have flats and no gardens, and to provide a space of sanctuary to help boost mental health in the area.

Ribbon cut for the opening of the Centre

Old church hall being demolished

Bishop Rose and Revd Arthur outside new centre

Construction work

Exterior of new centre

By Ed

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