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Million dollar addition to ‘City of Churches' reputation

Paula Nicholls (left) and Pauline Newton from Lifeworks Uniting Church, which is selling its buildings and site at the corner of West and Stephen Sts to fund a major project in Glenvale.
Paula Nicholls (left) and Pauline Newton from Lifeworks Uniting Church, which is selling its buildings and site at the corner of West and Stephen Sts to fund a major project in Glenvale. Kevin Farmer

LIFEWORKS Uniting Church's plans to build a multi-million dollar complex in Glenvale have cemented Toowoomba's growing reputation as the city of churches.

Church officials, who are currently selling their West and Stephens Sts site, hope to have stage one of the two-stage plan completed by July, 2014.

The first stage will be worth $1.7 million and will seat 268 people.

The second stage will feature a separate, dedicated place of worship and is estimated to be in the vicinity of $5 million.

This church will be developed on a block of land it owns at the corner of Hursley and Boundary Sts.

Paula Nicholls of Lifeworks said the plans were the culmination of 10 years work.

"But we have been working on this solidly for the last three years," Ms Nicholls said.

Fellow parishioner Pauline Newton said the church conducted community surveys to enable the best possible design.

She said initially the stage-one building would be used as an outside school hours childcare centre to cater for up to 45 children, as well as a place of worship.

"We are hoping to provide the community with a service," Ms Newton said.

"And create partnerships with schools in the neighbourhood."

The tender of the West and Stephen Sts site, complete with buildings, will enable the church to finance its plans.

The West St buildings are currently occupied by another church group, the Westside Christian Church.

Lifeworks Uniting Church worships out of another premises in Russell St which it moved to in 2001.

"It can be an emotional time when a church is sold, and to see it sell to something else other than a church group," Ms Newton said.

"When our Uniting Church congregation left these buildings we had a 'closing down' ceremony."

Lifeworks has about 200 members.

"In terms of sacred buildings, to me the church is about the people, not the building," Ms Nicholls added.

First National Commercial real estate agent Graham Newnham said a few interested parties had toured the site.

"It's been a mixed group; church groups and one developer," Mr Newnham said.

Tenders close tomorrow.

Topics:  church development religion tooowoomba



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