Thursday, September 28, 2023

Plans for pentecostal church to move into empty shop in Grays

SONGS of praise could soon ring out from a shopping parade in Grays if plans to turn an empty shop into a church are approved reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The Eagles Christian Connections church wants to turn 1 Kingston Parade, Hathaway Road, Grays into a place of worship and a community hall.

The Pentecostal church aims to use the unit as a lively community centre from 9am to 6pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesday and Friday. Worship and community events will take place on Saturdays and there will be worship on Sundays from 10am to 6pm.

If approved, pastor Tope Ekundayo will run the church with his wife Elizabeth.

Mr Ekundayo said: “We utilize our property to support at-risk kids and single parents by establishing an after-school club and providing a safe haven for them whenever necessary. “In addition to offering a welcoming environment, our program also emphasizes spiritual and personal development.”

The pastor added: “By incorporating the word of God into our activities, we aim to inspire and guide these individuals, teaching them essential life lessons that can positively impact their futures.

“Our goal is to create a supportive community where these children and single parents can find solace, guidance, and a nurturing space for growth.”

The church also hopes to open a foodbank in the former second hand furniture shop.

The application said any noise and disturbance would be minimised by the location and by the proposed opening hours. The council could also impose restrictions on any amplified music.

It adds: “The proposal would provide a vibrant reuse of this building. The proposal would not harm the residential amenity of any neighbouring property.

Furthermore, there would be no harm to highway safety. It would also preserve the character and appearance of the area.

“Taking into account all relevant factors, it is submitted that the proposed use is acceptable and one that accords with local and national planning policy.”

The site has good access to a range of bus services as well as good provision for those wishing to access the site on foot or by bicycle.


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