HEADINGTON Baptist Church celebrated ten years of serving the community at its new home at the weekend with a special birthday bash to mark the milestone.

The church at Old High Street opened its first chapel in 1843 before moving to its new building ten years ago.

To mark the decade at its new home the church invited members of the community for an afternoon of family activities on Sunday.

The special birthday celebration included the creation and unveiling of a special large-scale artwork depicting the new building and designed by members of the congregation who put the finishing touches on the project during the day.

Minister at the church James Bloice Smith said: “It is really nice to see all the community here today to celebrate.

“This is a great facility for us but even more it was a fantastic story to get here.

“Looking back, really there were some quite major hurdles to overcome before we got this building.

“For example funding and making sure the work fit into the neighbourhood and then getting it approved by the local planning authority.

“It has been 10 years since we have been in but the plans started probably 18 years ago.

“When we started to get a lot more people we realised that we have to do something with the building.

“We had a very old building then and it wasn’t particularly beautiful.

“Now we have this better building which is used as a community space as well."

As well as the personalised art installation, the event also featured a range of artworks designed by the community and tea and cakes.

Lisa Holt, 48, from Headington, has attended the church for the last seven years.

The former teacher said: “It is good to have the community here. It is really nice to come here and be a part of it.”

Ken Bedding, 47, has been coming to the church for the last four years.

He said: “The community is really important and coming to Headington and being part of the larger community is just as important.

“This sort of event particularly it brings everybody together and everybody has come along today.”

Another church-goer was Blackbird Leys resident and entrepreneur Christine McDermott.

She said: “Today has been a really great opportunity to come together to celebrate the 10 years of being physically in the building but also it’s more than that.

“We are also here to celebrate being part of some form of community.”

The celebration was held between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday and the church holds regular Sunday services at 10.30am and 7pm.