A Christian church that attracts up to 300 worshippers a week at its temporary Chester home will soon open a permanent base in the city.
!Audacious Church currently operates out of Manchester and the Crowne Plaza hotel in Chester.
But it is about to open a base in a Cheshire West and Chester Council-owned unit in Sovereign Way, Chester West Employment Park, most recently occupied by community interest company Reviive Chester which sold recycled goods.
The !Audacious website says: “We believe the church contributes to the atmosphere, culture and success of a city and our nation. Our vision is to be a church numerically so large that we transform business, education, entertainment and sports, family and healthcare, media, politics and spirituality one person at a time.
“We are committed to empowering every person to make a positive difference in their world through demonstrating the extraordinary God.”
Pastor Mark Foster lodged a successful planning application to change the Chester warehouse into a place of worship that will include a coffee area.
Planning officer Catherine Reay wrote: “The supporting business plan indicates that up to 300 people regularly attend the services at the existing campus in Chester.”
She added: “The supporting business plan indicates that Audacious Church currently employs a core staff of 45 employees which is supplemented by volunteers and 25 interns with training opportunities, covering both the Manchester and Chester campuses. The plan indicates that there will initially be four staff at the new Chester campus supported by volunteers and interns.”
While this was a lower density compared with an employment use, it was anticipated numbers would rise over the first 12 months as income was generated through room hire, voluntary contributions and other funding opportunities.
The coffee area could also be used for community activities during the week.
There is a proposal to add 20 spaces to the existing 65-space car park. Many members of the congregation car share and include families likely to travel in the same vehicle. The site is also located with walking distance of a park and ride facility and has bus stops nearby.