Dudley MP reopens fire-hit church building

Members of a Black Country church has battled through hard times to resurrect one of their buildings.

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris turned out to officially mark the opening of the new building at LifeCentral Church in Little Cornbow.

People attending the 38-year-old church have had to overcome a fire that destroyed their auditorium back in August 2015 with the blaze tearing through half of their building and causing extensive damage.

Reverend Leon Evans, who has been at the church for 25 years, said: "This will be a venue for the town and the area, It's gone very well, it's been really excellent.

"I want to add a massive thank you to people in the church and the community who have supported us over the past two years since the fire.

"The church has given over £1 million over the last two years, it's almost like a new building."

The MP was joined by the Bishop of Dudley Graham Usher and Mr Evans at the church, which houses up to 600 people, to open the new build.

Mr Morris said: "It was fantastic to see so many local people celebrating a real Halesowen success story.

"LifeCentral is not just an important part of our local faith community, but also an integral part of Halesowen's community life.

"It provides a meeting place for many different groups and organisations who offer a range of services to local people.

"The new refurbishment will offer the church an opportunity to build on this success, and play an even larger part in Halesowen."

Ahead of the opening Mr Evans told the Express & Star the church members were 'excited' to be opening the new multi-purpose 400-seat-auditorium for the church and wider community.

It comes as back in April this year the plans were revealed for the new build with artist impressions detailing the layout of the centre.

The plans included the creation of the 400-seater auditorium to replace their former space lost in the fire and a cladded frontage created along with new offices and toilets.

LifeCentral Church, formerly known as The Zion Christian Centre, has been based in Halesowen for 40 years.

Since the early 1980s the church has been in the centre of the town, known for carrying its youth work and its range of community activities.

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