MORE than two years after leaving its previous place of worship, Battle Methodist Church is finally moving in to its new home.
The congregation will move into The Emmanuel Centre in Harrier Lane at the weekend, with the first service to take place on Sunday.
Church members decided to leave their previous home in Lower Lake in November 2007 after deciding the building, their place of worship since 1826, was deteriorating and a lack of parking and access issues meant it was unsuitable for 21st Century use.
The last service was held there in November 2011, before worship was moved over the road to the Senlac, with the help of landlord Steve Page and his staff.
Members settled on the Harrier Lane site for the new church.
The land had previously been designated for community use by Rother District Council and there was no meeting place of any kind in the immediate area.
Both Battle Town Council and Rother have been supportive of the Methodist Church’s venture to provide facilities to serve both the church and the community.
Because the Emmanuel Centre is on a slope, there are two levels, with direct access to both levels from outside.
The rooms are named after trees and shrubs which grow in the area. On the lower level the Rowan Lounge is where refreshments are served, with a well-equipped kitchen next to it. Stairs and a lift lead to the upper level, where the Beech Room, with its striking windows, will usually be set out with chairs for more formal purposes, and will be the main area for worship, seating around 80 people. The more informal Sycamore Room, is separated from the Beech Room by a movable screen, with the extension increasing possible seating space to 140. The smaller, circular Larch Room will seat up to 12, and is a quiet area with a wonderful view over the edge of the town and countryside beyond.
There is a large car park for more than 50 vehicles, with cycle racks being installed.
Although the atrocious weather has made landscaping impossible at present, the intention is that pleasant grassy areas will provide places to relax, for children to play, and wild flowers to grow.
The church’s first service on Sunday will be led by minister The Rev Peggy Heim. The official opening and dedication will be in April, by invitation only.
There will be two open days on Friday March 28, noon–7pm and Saturday March 29, 10am–4pm.
Anyone interested in booking part or all of the centre for single events or regular activities can have a personal tour.
As with all Methodist premises, the Emmanuel Centre is an alcohol-free zone.