'Miracle' hailed as derelict church brought back to life thanks to global donations

Worshippers at a church are preparing to give thanks after new life was breathed into a building that stood vacant for more than 12 years.

Bethesda Shalom Church members have brought a building to life
Bethesda Shalom Church members have brought a building to life

The Bethesda Shalom Church in Willenhall managed to raise more than £200,000 in donations to pay towards the £300,000 refurbishment of the building which was carried out during the past year.

Some of the donations came from across the world including from well-wishers in America and Germany.

Pastor Paul M Williams, aged 41, from Wolverhampton, said: “The refurbishment has been nothing but a miracle.

“Volunteers cut back the undergrowth and helped clear the site before Martin Evans Construction Limited, based in Codsall, carried out the work.

“This was very much a faith project and a labour of love and it is humbling, because of the responsibility, but also exciting to be able to hold services here.

Pastor Paul Williams with some of the worshippers

“Previously, for the past seven years, we have hired a chapel at the Wolverhampton Royal School. Usually we have had 30 to 40 worshippers but the church can now hold up to 150 worshippers.

“At the opening service at 3pm on Saturday we will be able to share and give thanks for bringing a derelict building back to life and it will not stop there as many lives will be changed and touched.

"We took out a loan for one third of the cost of the project and had faith that we could raise the remainder through donations.

"Some came from overseas such as from America and Germany. The church can hold more people with a capacity of about 150 so we are hoping to get more worshippers.

“A dedication service was held last week and we hope to see many worshippers at the opening service on Saturday and share the journey we have been on to bring the building back to life.”

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