SCORES of worshippers turned out to mark the 100th anniversary of a Basingstoke church.
Around 150 people, including Basingstoke MP Maria Miller and borough mayor Councillor Martin Biermann, attended Kempshott Methodist Church on Sunday December 16 for a special service.
The Reverend John Rowland, who was superintendent of the Methodist circuit in Basingstoke between 1988 and 1998, led the service at the Kempshott Lane church.
He started by asking people to stand and think about the 26 victims of the US school massacre, in Newtown, Connecticut.
On a happier note, there were several ballet performances by the Lloyd-North Dance School, and the congregation sang hymns including the Methodist favourite To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
The service heard how the church started life as a tiny tin hut long before most of the houses were built in Kempshott.
Afterwards, people were able to look at a small display detailing the church’s history and its activities, and enjoy food and drink, which included slices of a birthday cake.
Colin How, senior steward at the church, told The Gazette: “It was good to reflect on the past and it was great to have some of the young people here –- they are the life of the church now.
“It has been a special place and I hope it will remain so for the people of Kempshott.”
Ian Cameron, of Aster Road, Kempshott, has been coming to the church since he moved to Basingstoke in 1975.
The 81-year-old said: “I do feel proud of the church, and although we are down to 20 or 30 members, there is still an emphasis to keep involved with the whole of Kempshott.”