A 'SPIRITUALIST' church has renovated part of its building to give local groups a new place to meet.

Bicester Spiritualist Church (BSC) bought its current building, The Clifton Centre, on Ashdene Road, from KEA Sports and Social Club several years ago.

Now church leaders have converted the old changing rooms – which had fallen into a state of disrepair and decay – into two new rooms.

Also read: Blewbury Methodist Church to become a spiritual new home

Although the building has a large hall for people to use, owners felt that smaller rooms would provide more choice.

Now, thanks to funding granted by Viridor Recycling based in Ardley, and the efforts of volunteer fundraising, the church has converted the changing rooms into two spaces for groups to use whenever they wish.

Bicester Advertiser:

The church has called the rooms Viridor and Ardley.

Church trustee Derek Taylor said: “The groups that used the main hall said it was too big and would much rather have a smaller room to gather.

"It has taken us three years to complete the project but a tremendous amount of work has gone into it, particularly from our custodial trustee Tony Plowman, who did so much work on the project and is very multi-skilled.”

The church received £20,000 from Viridor which went towards the conversion which was completed last Autumn.

Also read: String of lead thefts from north Oxfordshire churches

BSC lets out the rooms and the hall to groups such as Slimming World, Bicester History Society and Yoga Being.

The church decided to officially open the rooms on Sunday to coincide with its 30th Anniversary which was followed by an afternoon service and refreshments.

Mr Taylor said: “We had a great turnout at the service as we were only expecting about 65 people but over 100 attended. It was quite surprising, especially as it was Father’s Day.”

Rita Clifton, who founded the church, officially opened the rooms by cutting the ribbon and councillor Les Sibley witnessed the ceremony.

Tracy Bowman, who went to the event on Sunday said: “It was a lovely afternoon and great to see so many friends in one place. Fabulous energy bounced around all afternoon. Thank you once again to everyone connected to BSC for making it such a happy place.”