A CONGREGATION who lost their church is now worshipping from an unusual new site - their local pub.

Holy Trinity and St Matthew’s Church has been holding services in a skittle alley at the Punch Bowl in Ronkswood.

Churchgoers have effectively been homeless since the demolition of its previous 50-year-old building, widely known as The Drum, in November 2014.

A fundraising drive was launched to bring the church home to The Drum site, in Ronkswood, and more than £16,000 has so far been raised towards the £1 million target needed.

However, while fundraising continues, the congregation was keen for Holy Trinity to continue and, since 2014, services have been held at various different locations.

The church eventually settled on Perry Wood School.

But deputy churchwarden and chairman of the fundraising group, Penny Welford, said the congregation was keen to “move back nearer their original site in the heart of the community”.

The pub, in Norwich Road, is therefore allowing them to hold services on a Sunday as well as giving the church storage space.

Ms Welford said: “Sue Morris, licensee at the Punch Bowl, generously offered the use of their skittle alley for 10am Sunday services - with 8am Sunday services being held in the vicarage.

“A working party meets regularly to keep the empty church site as tidy as possible and to respect the area around the war memorial.

“Fundraising continues for a new community church building on the site, but in the meantime our church continues to meet in various places and to serve our community.

“If people want to make a donation, contact us.

"It is still our dream to move back to the site.”

The plan is for the church’s other services to be held in local care homes and residential complexes.

Holy Trinity’s team has also redeveloped its website holytrinityandstmatthewronkswood.co.uk, which links to a monthly newsletter detailing services and the church’s programme of events for all ages.

Anyone who wants to make a donation is asked to email Ms Welford at penny.welford@gmail.com.