May 21 2013 Latest news:
Edwina Ellington, Reporter
Monday, June 13, 2011
A Pentecostal church established in Ilford in the 1930s is undergoing a £7.5million redevelopment which will be a new landmark in the town centre.
City Gates Christian Centre, previously known as Ilford Elim Pentecostal Church, in Clements Road, Ilford, is in the process of being demolished to be rebuilt as a community and conference centre.
The congregation, of which there are more than 500, is using a room in the nearby Cineworld and Salvation Army centre in Ilford, until the building is ready in October or November next year.
A church spokesman said: “We think this is one of the biggest town centre redevelopments by any church organisation in London.
“We hope this will attract conference users and bring additional trade to Redbridge businesses, as well as increase employment opportunities for Redbridge businesses.” Pop band singer Shane Lynch, who shot to fame after the success of Boyzone, visited the centre in 2008 where he spoke candidly about his Christian faith being his saviour.
There are over 500 Elim denominational churches, of which City Gates is a member, across the UK, with a membership of more than 30,000 people.
The project was funded by donations from the church.