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08 June 2011

Church Army’s royal opening for new facilities in Sheffield

Church Army’s royal opening for new facilities in Sheffield

Church Army's new home in Sheffield, The Wilson Carlile Centre, was officially opened last week by His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex KG KCVO.

In the last six months the charity has relocated north from its London offices, and His Royal Highness's visit on 2 June marked a new chapter in Church Army's 129-year history.

During his visit, His Royal Highness toured the recently renovated building which has been transformed from the charity's former training college into a multi-purpose centre for staff and the wider community. He also planted a tree in the centre's new garden and met the Church Army team.

As part of the opening the Archbishop of York and Church Army's Vice President, Dr John Sentamu, led a service of thanksgiving in the centre's chapel.

The £2m building project has seen a wide range of facilities added to the centre including a café, library, bookshop, chapel, and 30-bed conference centre which are all open to the public. Church Army's training department, research team and office staff will also be based there.

Mark Russell, Church Army Chief Executive, said: "I'm so excited that Church Army is now in Sheffield! We hope the Wilson Carlile Centre will be a blessing to the community and that it will become a welcoming home for anyone who visits."

Dr. Sentamu said: "I am thankful for the work undertaken by many hands in the re-ordering of the Wilson Carlile Centre in Sheffield. It is my hope that this centre becomes a hub for mission and a place of warm welcome for all visitors."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Church Army President said of the new home: "Church Army has staff working all across Sheffield...So I am delighted that the Wilson Carlile Centre will be the new home for Church Army. The building will serve the mission of God across the UK and Ireland and we hope it will make a difference to the people of Sheffield."