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Source : 29/10/2001 Coventry Evening Telegraph

Church leaders are seeking support for a new 900,000 social and worship centre in the heart of Coventry.

Officials from the Jesus Army, part of the Evangelical Alliance, are hoping to open a drop-in base at a former garage and workshop in Lamb Street, city centre.

But first the church group, also known as the Jesus Fellowship, is writing to supporters in a bid to secure both financial and practical support.

The old garage was acquired for 165,000 and the budget for the project in 750,000. It is estimated that the centre will cost 94,000 a year to run.

And while the initial costs have been met by a loan from the Jesus Fellowship Community Trust, income will have to be found either from hiring out the main hall, or from gifts and donations.

A Jesus Army fundraiser says in an open letter: 'Our plan is to turn these (the garage and workshop) into a church with drop-in and other facilities.

'Our aim is to serve the local community by meeting social and spiritual needs.'

The main building will include a meeting hall, cafe and kitchen, chapel-cum-reading room and a lounge for visitors.

Drop-in services will include subsidised breakfasts and evening meals for the disadvantaged, laundry and shower facilities, a second hand clothes store, and help with welfare problems.

The organisation also hopes to host training courses in basic skills while acting as a 'gateway' to other established social agencies like drugs and alcohol experts.

Work is currently going on to renovate the old garage and it is hoped the doors will be open within the next few months.