A well-known Mansfield building will soon be restored to activity thanks to the arrival of a new church.
Aside from a lively place of worship Arena Church’s plans for the old ABC Cinema and Riley’s snooker hall on Leeming Street include community support groups and cinema screenings.
Arena Church, a pentecostal denomination, known for its crucial Ilkeston foodbank, held its official launch on Saturday.
Lead Pastor Kristian Thorpe said: “We have been in Ladybrook for a while but needed to be closer to the town so we made a successful bid at the auction and raised the deposit with help from the congregation’s donations.
“We will be offering church, community and conferencing.
“There will be church services every Sunday but we are involved in foodbanks - there is already one in Mansfield but we can help where ever there are poor in the community.
“We also have a room we can use to raise money by hiring it out to different groups.”
“In terms of the church we are just committed to loving and serving the community. We take the work very seriously in that we have a heart for the poor and are compassionate for those who feel helpless.
Kristian hopes to introduce a range of support groups at the new venue, including a lunch club for the elderly, a pool club for the disabled in the community making use of the church’s eight American tables.
The Arena also boasts a dry bar where people can meet for a coffee before a service and Kristian is planning to launch youth clubs for 12-16 and 18-30-year-olds.
Said Kristian: “It is a lively congregation but not weird and wacky - we have people from many different backgrounds.”
If you are a member of, or represent a community group looking to use the facilities, phone 0115 944 2996.