Worship for the Glassworks site?

A FORMER garage on Nailsea's historical Glassworks site could be turned into a new church. Leaders at Nailsea Baptist Church are in talks

A FORMER garage on Nailsea's historical Glassworks site could be turned into a new church.Leaders at Nailsea Baptist Church are in talks with the owner of the Glassworks site, Jeremy Hobbs, about the possibility of taking over the old garage and turning it into a centre of worship.The church, which has a 130-strong congregation, currently meets at Golden Valley Primary School and has been searching for a permanent base for a number of years.The Glassworks site is jointly owned by local businessman Jeremy Hobbs, of Hobbs Holdings, and North Somerset Council.Nailsea Baptist Church leader, the Reverend Gary Woodall said: "We have registered our interest in the garage part of the Glassworks site with both Mr Hobbs and the council."However, any discussions are still in the very early stages and how we move forward will depend on the landowners and the constraints currently on the site."The church, which was founded in 1979, uses the school to meet twice each Sunday but also rents a number of premises in the town to run youth and community groups.It also operates an elderly persons club, care groups and a mother and toddler group, all of which run out of halls and buildings across the town.Mr Woodall added: "We are very much involved with young people, but have to rent a number of venues across Nailsea to provide our services."We have outgrown the school and as a result of not having our own base our outside activities are limited to the meeting places which are open to us."We have lots of plans to extend our work and become involved in projects and having our own base would allow us to do this."The Glassworks was opened by John Lucas in the later 18th century and became Nailsea's biggest employer.By the late 1830s it had expanded to become one of the fourth largest in the country, but closed in 1874 due to dwindling coal supplies.The remains of the Glassworks were listed as a scheduled ancient monument in 2003, which means any future development of the site, will have to meet strict guidelines set by English Heritage.Proposals to build shops, social housing and private homes on the Glassworks were put forward by Mr Hobbs last year.North Somerset Council also appointed a team of architects to draw up a series of possible options for the site which included turning it into a park or using it for offices.Mr Hobbs was not available for comment.

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