Ambulance station could be Chichester church's new home
Grace Church in Chichester is hoping to convert a former ambulance station into a home for its growing congregation.
The building in Terminus Road has been vacant since 2015 with various attempts to market it.
Now Grace Church, which meets in Chichester High School, is looking to turn it into a base for its community and everyday work, which is currently split across 26 different venues.
Pastor David Thompson said: “It would mean a great deal because at the moment we do an awful lot for the community but we do it all out of rented venues.
“We use Chichester High School on a Sunday morning but also during the week there are various community things.
“We run a toddler group here and we have to hire a hall for that, once a month we run a group for people with special needs, we do marriage and parenting courses.
“There’s so much more that we could do with a permanent base.
“It’s to have a venue in the community that people know they can go to for support.”
The modern congregation started meeting in Chichester in 2006 and has always rented or leased space for gatherings and events with a long-term aim of owning its own space.
Since then, the church has grown from a handful of people to 350 members across Chichester and three sister congregations in Midhurst, Bognor and Havant.
In the last year, David said the prospect of finally purchasing a building in Chichester had become something the church was considering very seriously and the ambulance station just oustide the south gateway was an ideal setting.
He said he hoped the rennovation and future use could ‘breathe a bit of life’ into that part of the city.
“It’s a place that the community are already familiar with so it’s ideal from that aspect,” he said.
Ideas for future projects at the site include a winter night shelter and a drop-in centre to offer friendship and support to the lonely and isolated.
For more details on Grace Church visit chichester.gracechurchtogether.org.uk
For more on the plans see application reference 18/01064/FUL