Hundreds Attend Church Inauguration
A message of thanks to all those involved
Hundreds of people attended the inauguration of the former Baptist church on Shepherd's Bush Road when it opened its doors again after more than a year of renovation work.
The church, which is now owned by the Great Commission Ministry, was destroyed by a fire in July 2008, but reopened at the end of 2009 with a day of celebration attended by around 400 people, including representatives from the Filipino embassy. The congregation and members of the public were first taken on a tour of the newly-renovated building, followed by a church service, dinner and prayers, with some people not leaving until late into the night.
“It all turned out to be a joyous and successful moment for us,” said the church's facility manager, Daniel Makonnen. “Truly this whole experience and journey has been a blessing in disguise in more ways than one. It's great to be back home in our very own building. The building has had a complete makeover from top to bottom and we have experienced a true miracle by the grace of God. Our Pastor/Minister is Josephine L. Bolor who, at the age of 70, has successfully led us through this experience with courage and strength,” he said.
The church was bought by the Great Commission Ministry in May 2008 – two months before a blaze, which started at an adjacent hostel for the homeless, swept through the building, almost completely destroying the roof. But Makonnen said that even before the fire, the church was in a poor state of repair: “The building is around 115 years old and therefore was in a state when we bought it. Now it feels and looks brand new. In terms of original features we have not lost much, just a few changes such as the organ being removed, and part of the stage being removed to have a larger platform. What really has changed is the cosmetic look and the ambiance. We have had quite a few upgrades such as the toilets, kitchen, and Sanctuary area,” said Makonnen.
Parishoners had to temporarily relocate to St. Alban's Church in Hammersmith, where they held their services while their own church was being repaired: “With regards to our stay at St Albans we were very fortunate and grateful to St Paul's Church in Hammersmith (who currently manage the building). They were very accommodating and kind to us and we would like to mention our gratitude to them,” Makonnen said.
“We would also to make mention and give thanks to the team that did tremendous work, from Sexton Demolition, NDB Constructions, Thomas & Thomas Surveyors, Crawford & Co loss adjustors, Baptist Insurance, WR Associates (mechanical & electrical firm)& Weller's Law Firm.
“We would also like to give special thanks to our neighbours who were patient during the restoration of our Church from Sledge, Romney Court, Carr Gomm, and Jeffersons and Co. Many thanks to the community of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough for their kind words and support.
“Lastly a special thanks to the congregation of The Great Commission Ministry for their efforts, sacrifices and faithfulness. We are very much proud of our members.”
Services at the church are now at the following times:
January 10, 2010