LOCAL residents, members of the congregation and new faces joined the Rector Canon John Ward and his team of clergy at the opening of the Kingsway office in Kingsway.

Around 30 - 40 people, including the Chair of the Town Council Graham Smith, City and County Councillors Richard Cook and Dave Norman dropped in throughout the morning to look round and find out what is on offer at Saint James’ Church and the function of the Kingsway office.

Refreshments of tea, coffee and cake were available.

The church decided to expand into Kingsway following an increase in the number of enquiries for baptisms and weddings from the Kingsway area.

The church office is located in the Kingsway Community Centre and will be open every Saturday morning from 11am -12noon.

Cllr Graham Smith Chair of the Town Council said: "This is a brilliant venture, certainly a move in the right direction. This is a starting point for people who need to access the local parish church".

Cllr Richard Cook, City Councillor commented: "I welcome the opening of the church office as additional community resource and hope it is successful".

Local resident of Kingsway Mike Wiltshire remarked: "It’s lovely to see a big turnout for the church event and with so many local people attending".

Rev Jenny d’Esterre who will share the weekly office duties with Rector Canon Ward was enthusiastic.

She said: "This is an exciting venture for Saint James’ as we build on its mission in the parish. The availability of Kingsway Community Centre as a venue is an added bonus".

Rector Canon John Ward was equally enthusiastic and very keen to point out that this was a much needed resource: "It is unfair to expect people from Kingsway to travel to Saint James’ to arrange weddings, baptisms etc. A local church should be just that local within its community. Unfortunately the A38 divides Quedgeley and Kingsway I hope that this initiative will help to bridge that divide. This is a small step forward for Saint James’ I’m looking forward to other church initiatives taking place locally in this area. Thank you to all who supported us here today".