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Challenge issued to raise Bethel cash

PUBLISHED: 20:39 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:40 05 July 2010

THE Port Missioner for East Anglia has challenged the people of Lowestoft to each pledge £10 so one of the town's most significant buildings can stay as a place of worship.

THE Port Missioner for East Anglia has challenged the people of Lowestoft to each pledge £10 so one of the town's most significant buildings can stay as a place of worship.

Superintendant Tim Jenkins said he would happily dig into his own pocket to support the Save Our Bethel campaign, if Journal readers were to do the same.

The campaign was launched last month and has inspired the trustees of the historic sailors' and fishermen's church to set up an appeal to purchase the building.

Mr Jenkins said: “The Bethel is a very significant building in terms of the work that I do supporting current and retired fishermen and their families.

“Recently I was doing supermarket collection for the Mission and so many folk said to me 'isn't it a shame that the Mission and the Bethel is closing'. Obviously I said that the Mission is not closing, in fact we are busier now than we have been for a long time.

“I wonder if we should challenge the people of Lowestoft to dig deep into their pockets and give generously to the Save Our Bethel Campaign.”

The Bethel, which has served the community for 158 years, has been put up for sale by the British and International Sailors' Society as there is no longer a sizable sea-going community in the Lowestoft area.

The sale is being handled by Lowestoft-based agents O A Chapman and Sons with offers invited in the region of £145,000.

Trustees want to buy the building and keep it as an independent church.

Mr Jenkins said £145,000 is not a lot of money to collectively raise and would suggest if people were so passionate about it they should give a little bit of cash.

“I have conducted many services in the Bethel and hope to conduct many more.”

Anyone wishing to pledge their financial support can write to The Trustees, The Bethel, Battery Green, Lowestoft, NR32 1DL, or via the dedicated email address thebethel@live.co.uk stating the amount they wish to contribute.

The Journal would like to hear from readers about their memories of the Bethel. Write to the editor Russell Cook, at The Journal, 147 London Road North. Lowestoft, NR32 1NB, or email russell.cook@archant.co.uk

To read Mr Jenkins' full letter buy this week's Journal and see the Postbox section.

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