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Source : 02/02/2002 Coventry Evening Telegraph

A cafe, public meeting hall and drop-in centre for the homeless are being incorporated into a new church centre taking shape in Coventry city centre.

Members of Coventry's Jesus Army are sponsoring the 800,000 project which they hope will actively help everyone - whether they are down on their luck or simply want to find a central location to run aerobics classes.

Piers Young, who will manage the multi-use centre, stresses it will be open to all, regardless of their beliefs.

He said: 'The Bridge will be a drop-in centre where the homeless, or anyone in need, will find a friendly welcome and facilities for washing, laundry and subsidised wholesome food.'

'But the church centre will also include the Upper Well cafe and what we are calling The Gateway community hall, which will be a resource available for hire for everything from aerobics to children's parties and business seminars.'

In addition members of the Jesus Army will use the church centre as a place of worship. At the moment they are meeting in hired halls.

Carole Rust, who will co-ordinate services at The Bridge, said: 'We want to actively help people in need to improve their quality of life, not just provide a 'parking space' for them.'

'we will be open six mornings a week, including weekends, and hope that, by means of training and advice, people of all faiths will be helped to enhance their skills and capacity to live fuller lives.