DAWLEY (Shropshire) Pastoral Centre, which opened in April this year, is a bold experiment by six churchmen, Anglican, Roman Catholic and NonConformist, to serve the community.
"It is very early to say just how it is going," say its sponsors, "but we are satisfied so far."
The scheme, first conceived about seven years ago, is believed to be the only one of its type in Britain.
After the six moved into the chapel in Dawley's High Street (owned by the Dawley Central Methodists trustees) they spent three months and £400 converting it.
"We found we were working fairly closely together before, but we wanted a central place where we could get into the middle of things, where people shop and meet one another," says Fr. Jeff Lynch, the local Catholic priest.
"We started to serve morning coffee and hired the hall out to any organisation that wanted it without charge."
Methodist services are now held in an upstairs chapel. Dawley branch of the Welling. ton Conservative Association meets there, so does the Labour Party branch. the town arts society, the youth association — in fact all kinds of people, and all kinds of groups
The six have a duty rota and share the secretarial services of Mrs. Jenny Jones, wife of the Rev. Dick Jones (Anglican),
The Rev, Morgan Williams (Baptist) says : "I suppose have less time of my own. though it has not meant doing less for my congregation."
The others are: the Rev. Christopher Nankivell (Anglican), the Rev. Kenneth Posnett (Methodist) and the Rev. Bob Wayte (Anglican).