SEVERAL hundred congregants attended the unveiling of a ceremonial stone, which will be laid as part of a new £3million church building.

The plaque is inscribed with the words "As you come to Him, the living Stone, you also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house".

Reverend Peter Baker, senior minister of Lansdowne Church, said the stone will “remind the thousands of people who come in and out of the building over centuries to come that church is really about the people, built on the person of Jesus, not just a great and exciting building.”

Lansdowne Church is in the process of an ambitious regeneration project to construct a new building in place of the former Baptist church.

The new building will serve as a modern purpose-built facility with an auditorium to accommodate up to 1,000 people.

It will also feature a sports hall, ground floor café and rooftop terrace.

Doug McGinn, director of operations at Lansdowne Church, said the new building, complete with the newly-unveiled ceremonial stone, will become a “hub” for the communities that live in and around the Lansdowne area when it opens.

He said: “If you’ve been in the Lansdowne area recently, you will not have been able to miss the huge steel structure going up in the place of the old Baptist church building, which stood on the spot on Lansdowne Road for almost 140 years.

“On Saturday, several hundred people, part of the Lansdowne Church community, descended on the vast and dusty construction site to unveil a distinctive stone, which is to be laid as part of the new building.”

Until the build is complete, members of Lansdowne Church are meeting in multiple locations around the town including Sunday services in the Executive Business Centre in Holdenhurst Road and in the old Strouden Park Chapel in Woodbury Avenue.

For more information on the building project and service times, visit