THIS is the first glimpse of the new-look Horley Baptist Church.
The 180-strong congregation will move out of their Albert Road church – which has been their home for more than a century – when their new premises are built on the site of the old Court Lodge Primary School next year.
As part of plans approved in February after four years of applications and proposals, the Court Lodge Road site will house a 60-bedroom care home as well as a new bigger site for the church who's congregation currently have to meet at Oakwood School in Balcombe Road for large gatherings and events.
Andrew Taylor, who is leading the project for the church, said: "For years we have been meeting on other sites because we are too big.
"It will be great to have our own premises. Oakwood are being very accommodating but it's not the same as our own place."
He added: "This will mean we can start meeting the needs of the congregation and won't be limited by the constraints of our current building."
Work on the care home is expected to begin soon and the church members will allow their part of the site to be used as free space during the project before starting their build once the care home is completed next year.
Church groups including Messy Church, a monthly special service for families, and the holiday club which was forced to limit numbers this year due to space concerns, will all have their say to ensure the new building meets their needs.
"This is major step forward," said Russell Braund, the church's pastor.
"We look forward to having a 21st century building designed to better serve the work of the church as it serves the community of Horley."
The church community will also have to raise funds for the project, which is expected to cost around £3 million, and are planning some fundraising events at the moment.
Horley Town councillor Mike George, chair of the Court Lodge Residents' Association, said: "We welcome the news that the church has concluded the purchase of the land and look forward to them developing this new facility for their congregation, Court Lodge residents and the wider Horley community."