A MAJOR conference for Mormons is set to be hosted in Bournemouth.

More than 1,000 members of the Church of Latter-day Saints from throughout the region are expected to gather in Bournemouth International Centre’s Tregonwell Hall on Sunday, October 26, for their biannual stake conference.

A stake is approximately comparable to a diocese in other Christian denominations and Poole’s now boasts 1,200 members living in the area.

Member Drew Gyll, who lives in Canford Heath, said as well as the large contingent living around Dorset, he is also expecting a number of non-members to attend.

“This is a first for the growing Mormon community in our area as existing facilities are no longer adequate to comfortably host the expected numbers,” he added.

“The conference will feature talks from local members and leaders and will be presided over by Elder Francisco Ruiz de Mendoza, a senior authority within the Europe area of the church.”

It is estimated there are more than 186,000 members of the church in the UK spread across 334 congregations.

Worldwide it is believed the church now has more than 15 million members.

The branch of Christianity, which was founded in the early 19th century by Joseph Smith and is based around the teaching of Bible and Book of Mormon, has now spread from its origins in America across the world.

Well known believers include pop star Donny Osmond and former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney.