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Former Fossway pub reopens as the Living Word Centre
A PUB which has stood empty and boarded up for several years has finally reopened – as a church.
The former Fossway pub in Huntington Road, York, is now the Living Word Centre, following a major refurbishment project.
The old public bar is now a lounge where children go to Sunday school during services, and the function room is a meeting room where the services are staged.
Upstairs, one former bedroom is an office for pastor James Topliss, while another is being turned into a seminar room where classes will be held in areas such as parenting and marriage enrichment.
Mr Topliss said there were also plans to open a community café, although this would require fresh planning permission from City of York Council .
He said it had cost a six-figure sum to buy the building and then carry out a major programme of repairs, with money donated and loaned both by church members in York and from similar churches across the country. Pupils at Queen Margaret’s School, Escrick , had also raised funds.
He said lead flashing had been stolen from the roor during the pub’s closure, allowing rainwater to come in, and roof repairs had been necessaryfirst.
Specialists had been employed for services such as plumbing and electricity, but members of the church had been involved in decorating the premises.
Mr Topliss said the church had about 45 members, from across York, including the Bell Farm estate and Huntington Road, with numbers rising, and about 150 people had come to a family barbecue held last weekend.
“We are a lively, charismatic church, committed to spreading the good news that Jesus Christ is alive and is still changing lives today,” he said.
“The church is made up of people of differing ages and backgrounds, but with one thing in common – a real relationship with God. It’s about being part of a family where there is genuine love, care and friendship.”
He said the church had a dedicated pastoral team of mature and experienced people, who were able to give practical, godly advice and instruction to help people in their lives as Christians.