A HISTORIC Bridport church has big plans for its 200th birthday.

In 2027, St Swithun’s church in Bridport will be 200 years old, and the church community – now part of the Bridport Team Ministry – is planning to celebrate this important birthday by finding new ways for the church to fulfil its mission within the town.

Groups of parishioners have been discussing various ideas involving building works, interior design and stewardship of the churchyard.

They are also considering plans for the St Swithun’s church hall, which is attached to the main building and is already used by many community groups from exercise classes to bridge clubs.

The rector of Bridport, Revd Deb Smith, said: “The guiding principle is to be a lighthouse rather than a clubhouse. I believe we must be outward looking, seek to serve local people and take time to find out what the community needs from us.

"We have to work to build relationships and break down the barriers that make people wary about coming through the door.

"This could be the place where people encounter space for silence, explore the mystical and get a taste for inclusive church, as well as a space for community action and where the arts and faith can come together.”

The team behind this project would like as many people as possible to be part of the process.

They have some initial ideas but would love to involve others in taking things forward.

On Saturday, July 3 there will be an open meeting at the church between 10.30am and 12.30pm. All who would like to be involved in this project are invited to attend.