Bishop of Southampton relaunches Hampshire church after major renovations

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A church in Hampshire reopened to the public on Monday for the first time in three years, following a significant renovation project. The launch of the newly revitalised St Wins Church in Totton was marked by a celebration service led by the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Reverend Debbie Sellin.

A new cafe area was opened, providing a welcoming and relaxing space for the congregation and the many projects, groups and people who will be using St Wins. This café and the rest of the church building will serve as a community space, and will provide a meeting place for both congregation members and the wider public.

In addition to the development of a new café and the installation of a modern digital sound and AV system, the building has undergone essential upgrades such as a new roof and heating system.

The new parish of St Wins was relaunched last April, combining the existing congregation with support from neighbouring church Saint Mary’s Southampton with the mission to revitalise and grow a new church community. St Wins now offers a contemporary approach to their worship through developing a variety of events and services, and their focus is to see lives transformed, hope restored and freedom found in Jesus.

This includes the launch of ‘The Pillar’ programme, a set of workshops designed to support young people in managing their mental wellbeing. Led by Student Pastor and NHS mental health nurse, Georgia Hart, the workshops provide mental health support and education for students ages 16-18 in Totton College.

Reverend Ali Hill, Rector at St Wins Totton said:

“We are so excited to be able to welcome people back into this historic building. Our vision for St Wins is that we can proclaim the timeless story of Jesus in a contemporary way. By having catered services and meeting groups for people of all ages, we hope to be a church that’s known for being family, where everyone is welcomed, whoever they are.”

The Right Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, said:

“I feel blessed to be able to join the team in celebrating the reopening of such a beautiful church. St Wins can now once again provide the community with a space to grow and explore their faith. The team at St Wins have developed new and exciting programmes that serve and support everyone – both young and old – and I am excited to see the church family grow.”

Opened in 1937, St Wins has been serving as the Christian heart of the local community in the fast growing residential areas of Totton. Designed by the revolutionary church architect Nugent Francis Cachemaille-Day, the Grade II listed building has been a hub for the community, with messy play groups for toddlers, a church café and regular fundraisers such as concerts.

Since the building closed in November 2018, the team at St Wins continued to hold services and weekly community events at venues around Totton, including the local Testwood School and Testwood Stadium, the home of AFC Totton. 

The £1m refurbishment was funded by the Church Commissioners, a charity that looks after buildings owned by the Church of England.