ADVERTISING
 
Friday, October 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Newport
 

Historic Welsh church gutted by fire

The blaze started in an old nightclub nearby. Around 40 people were evacuated.“Building or no building, the church will worship God and serve our community”, the pastor says.

SOURCES South Wales Argus, BBC AUTHOR Evangelical Focus NEWPORT 19 JUNE 2018 10:24 h GMT+1
Bethel Community Church tower before the fire. / Robin Drayton , Geograph Britain (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Friday June, 15, 19th century Bethel Community Church in Stow Hill, Newport, Wales, was destroyed by fire.



The blaze started in the old Zanzibar nightclub and soon ravaged 140-year Bethel Community Church. Around 40 people were evacuated from neighbouring properties after the fire, but some have since returned home.



The pastor of the church, Andrew Cleverly told Welsh newspaper South Wales Argus that “the youth group were meeting in the basement of the church and one was late. That person then noticed the building next door was on fire”.



“Soon the emergency services arrived. The youth group managed to get out”, he recalled.



 



“WE COULD NOT DO ANYTHING”



But “when we got to Stow Hill we could not do anything. We just had to watch it burn before our very eyes”, the pastor said.



“It is destroyed and we are devastated. The stain glass windows have gone. All you can now see is the four walls. There had been three floors”, he added.



Pastor Cleverly explained that they “had been in the process of re-developing the upper level […] but the damage from the fire is a lot. I fear it is unrepairable. It will cost millions of pounds to put right”.



 



AN IMPACT IN THE COMMUNITY



According to Cleverly, Bethel Community Church “has played a big part in the community. We have done a lot with refugees, we have been helping the community for 140 years”.





That is why “we will be sorely missed. I do not know what the future will hold now for the building” , he pointed out.



“But I must say that the church is not the building, it is the people. The people, thank goodness, were not burnt down. I am gutted - like the building. But the church is not dead”.



 



SUSPECTS ARRESTED AND RELEASED



A 43 year old man and a 36 year old woman from Newport were arrested by Gwent Police on Saturday, but this Monday a spokesman confirmed both have been released pending further inquiries.



An investigation into the cause of the fire is still continuing. No-one is thought to have been hurt but a cordon remains in Stow Hill and around the buildings. A spokesman for Gwent Police said the cordon is expected to remain in place all week.



 



“BUILDING OR NOT BUILDING, THE CHURCH WILL WORSHIP GOD”



On Sunday morning, about 250 people attended an outdoor service close to the burned remains of the building.







The congregation prayed together and sang songs as pastor Cleverly asked to “pray for the future of this church” and for the community to “stand up and be strong”.



He thanked the people of Newport for the support that the church has been shown since the fire.



“Building or no building, the church will worship God and serve our community. Thank you to everyone who made today possible, those who came to sing, pray and trust with us. God has blessed and strengthened us by your support and comforted by our faith in Christ”, the church wrote in its facebook page.



 





LOCAL AUTHORITIES ATTENDED CHURCH OUTDOOR SERVICE



Local authorities, members of the emergency services who attended the fire, as well as other churches, came to show their support at the service.



“It's important that the community comes together and shows their solidarity”, Mayor Malcolm Linton said and offered the authority's “continuing support in helping the church to recover from this devastating fire”.



Meanwhile, Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said “when we get back to the civic tomorrow we will be looking at every which way in which we can help”.



 



PREVIOUS CONCERNS



Concerns about the state of the former nightclub, which closed in 2010, were sent to the council over a week before the building went up in flames



Newport Conservatives said they had emailed the city council on 7 June calling for the former Zanzibar and Heights 2000 club to be inspected due to “fear this could collapse or end up going up in flames”.



The Council pointed out that they acted on concerns raised about the safety of the privately owned property immediately, and carried out a structural safety assessment the day the email was received.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Historic Welsh church gutted by fire
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines? What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines?

David Glass, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Ulster University (Northern Ireland) analyses whether a computer can have emotions or a conscious experience.

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.