THE OUTGOING Archbishop of Canterbury officially opened a new education project for youngsters and celebrated a multi-million pound renovation project at a Hammersmith church.
Reverend Rowan Williams was guest of honour at St Andrew's Church, in Fulham Fields, with more than 200 congregation members at the event last Thursday.
His visit marked the end of a £3m upgrade of the church which includes The STAR Centre, a new community facility to be used for classes, homelessness projects and a nursery.
Dr Williams also cut the ribbon on a new IntoUniversity Centre on the site which will provide hundreds of young people with after-school support and mentoring.
He said: “What I’ve seen at the STAR Centre is people being encouraged, from the word go, to hope for the best for themselves, and not just for themselves but for one another. When you see the co-operative kind of work that goes on among children on the top floor, sitting around sharing their ideas, sharing their work, that's as important a feature of what's happening as anything else.
"I like to think that a good working church is like the tardis in Dr Who - it's much bigger on the inside than on the outside. You go to a place like the STAR Centre and you have no idea from the outside just how much is going on here to enlarge people's horizons, to broaden their hopes, and deepen their hearts and their minds.”
Canon Guy Wilkinson, St Andrew's vicar, said: " This wonderful project, started under my predecessor, Father Martin Eastwood, is yet another example of the Church of England’s historic mission through the parish church to contribute significantly to local communities."
It will be the ninth IntoUniversity centre across London with 70 per cent of its 18-year-olds earning a university place in 2011. To find out more visit www.intouniversity.org.