A NEW church joining together three congregations from Bolton will be completed within weeks.

Triangle Community Methodist Church, which is being built on the site of the former Delph Hill Methodist Church, will unite the Astley Bridge, Halliwell and Chorley Old Road Methodist churches under one roof.

The £1.5 million project represents the culmination of five years of planning and development after church leaders decided to sell off the ageing premises which they say no longer met the needs of modern worship and community activity.

An open day on Saturday, November 1, will showcase the new building, which features a cafe open during the week, as well as activities available to the community, such as music, craft, adult learning, drama and young people’s and toddlers’ activities.

The official opening of the new church, at the junction of Chorley Old Road and New Church Road, will take place on Sunday, November 2, when the president of the Methodist Conference, the Rev Ken Howcroft, will travel up from London to lead the Dedication Service.

Money for the scheme was raised by selling off church premises, local and national grant support from Methodist bodies and fundraising by the individual churches.

The opening also coincides with the arrival of a new minister, the Rev Hilary Howarth.

She said: “It is such a privilege for me to return to my home town to serve as the Minister for the Triangle Community Methodist Church.

“The people in the church have worked exceptionally hard to turn their vision of a new building to serve the needs of the local community and church family into a reality.

“I am delighted to join them at this exciting time and together we look forward to a bright future.”

Methodists in Astley Bridge had previously worshipped at the former Theatre Church in Seymour Road.

The building is now set to be controversially demolished, with nine homes being built on the site. The Theatres Trust has written to Bolton Council calling for the former theatre to be saved. The planning application will be discussed by councillors at a meeting on September 25.