A DECADE of hard work was met with rapturous applause as the much anticipated community hub at St Paul's Church was opened at the weekend.
On Sunday, the Bishop of London Dr Richard Chartres joined more than a thousand residents to unveil the £5.5m St Paul's Centre.
Members of the St Paul's community and chamber choirs entertained the crowds while cupcakes and champagne were handed out liberally.
The opening of the centre marks the final phase of a complete renovation of the site which also included cleaning it after it was mounted with scaffolding.
Over the years church members have come up with imaginative ideas to raise money such as a newlywed couple climbing the church tower and hiring the scaffolding space out to advertisers
The centre will house a SPEAR training centre for young people not in education, employment or training, a money advice centre and an insights centre to support new families and fathers.
A state of the art cafe and Christian media centre will also be open to the public.
Vicar at St Paul’s, Simon Downham, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Bishop and celebrate the successful completion of this project. It has required the effort and generosity of a great number of people, but in particular our director of operations, Sarah Jackson, who I would like to thank on behalf of the church. We have a variety of innovative plans for the centre and we look forward to the whole community feeling the benefit of this new facility.”