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Churches offer their support to Bethel

PUBLISHED: 16:33 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:31 05 July 2010

ALL sections of the Lowestoft community are pledging support to save one of the town's most historic buildings.

The future of the Bethel is in doubt after the building was put up for sale by its owners - the British and International Sailors' Society.

ALL sections of the Lowestoft community are pledging support to save one of the town's most historic buildings.

The future of the Bethel is in doubt after the building was put up for sale by its owners - the British and International Sailors' Society.

The church in Battery Green Road has recently celebrated its 158th anniversary and last week the Journal launched the “Save Our Bethel” campaign.

Pastor Morris Baldry and church leaders are far from downhearted and believe the Bethel still has an important role to play in Lowestoft's future.

“We are making plans to celebrate our 159th anniversary next year and are also organising events later this year,” he said.

The Bethel is the fishermen and sailors' church and it is the decline of the fishing industry that has led to the building being offered for potential development.

“We hope that it may be possible for the new owners of the building to work in partnership with the church so that the Bethel remains a centre for Christian worship,” said Mr Baldry.

Meanwhile, other churches across Lowestoft and members of the public are offering their support to the campaign.

Calls are being made for the district council and businesses in the area to show their support by helping to purchase the building which is being offered for sale in the region of £145,000.

The Bethel Christian Fellowship offers a warm welcome to all and has its motto: A place to go, A people to know, A truth to tell, A life to show.

Rosina Jennings, who worships at the Bethel, has written a poem to show her feelings.

Here we meet in worship

Near harbour, sea and sand

Where hungry seagulls wheel and cry

The beloved Bethel stands

Brighter than a beacon

Guiding all who come aboard

Braving life's unchartered waters

To safe harbours, with the Lord

Anchored firm in Christian Fellowship

Steadfast, the captain and the crew

Singing songs of exultation

Taught by our Father, so to do

Let us praise Him now, with thankful voice

He will hear us, and rejoice

Assuring us, if doubt appears

That salvation overcomes all fears

Today, we have met in worship

Near harbour, sea and sand

Loudly still, the seagulls cry

Where the Bethel behold, still stands

The Journal welcomes readers' experiences and memories of The Bethel or ideas about how the building can continue its historic role as a centre of Christian Worship.

Write to: The Editor, Lowestoft Journal, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or e-mail russell.cook@archant.co.uk

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