A PLAN for improvements to a Catshill church, first considered nearly 50 years ago, has finally come to fruition.

When the new Catshill Methodist Church was built in 1968 it was designed to accommodate the plan of knocking down a wall so that the Golden Cross Lane-based church could be extended.

After 46 years this dream has been realised with the creation of a new entrance with large glass door.

As well as the new entrance there is a new kitchen, toilet for disabled people, and new ramp into the body of the church.

The new entrance is being officially opened and blessed at a service led by Reverend Andy Lyons and Reverend Richard Wilde at 10.30am on Sunday, July 27.

Mr Wilde currently has pastoral care of Catshill Methodist Church, until a new minster starts in September - but it was previous minister Andy Lyons who first got the project off the ground, and he will be returning to the church especially for the dedication service.

Reverend Richard Wilde said: "We hope and pray that local residents will see the Catshill Methodist building as a centre where the church gathers for worship and mission rather than just a church building.

"We want it to be an inclusive centre for all people in Catshill. We are planning a number of new activities including a coffee shop on Friday and Saturday mornings and would encourage local residents to come in and try out the facilities.

"We also hope to see the whole building used more by local groups who want to meet in an accessible modern building, with good parking, refreshment opportunities and amenities."

After the dedication service, from 3pm, the church will be open to anyone wanting to see the changes while enjoying light refreshments.

Also on July 27 there is an open invitation for people from the Bromsgrove and Redditch circuit of methodist churches to join a celebration service at 6pm in the newly fronted church centre.

The new coffee shop will be open between 10am-noon on Fridays from July 18, and on Saturdays from August 2.

For more details visit catshillmethodists.org.uk.