A town centre Baptist church which has served the community since 1808, is over half way to a £400,000-plus project to take it forward for future generations.

Bethesda, tucked away behind an iron archway in Narberth’s High Street, is proud that not only is it a popular place of worship, but also that its downstairs schoolroom is used by many from all over Pembrokeshire.

But outside toilets and stairs leading to all levels do not make it accessible to everyone, and so planning permission is being sought for a three-storey annex at the back of the building.

This will provide indoor toilets, two extra meeting rooms, kitchen improvements and disabled facilities – including a wheelchair lift to all floors.

“It’s taken us over 20 years to get this far, but the situation is now looking more positive,” said Chris Rees, who has just celebrated 25 years as minister of Bethesda.

“The people of the chapel have given generously, but we are still a long way off from the total we need.

“The project is a big step of faith for us as a church, and the members have shown a great willingness to take this step.

“Hopefully it will ensure many more years of Bethesda Church being in the heart of the community, serving people with the love of God as it has done for over 200 years.

Added Mr Rees: “Many people in the town and wider community often speak of some meeting, event or special occasion at Bethesda.

“And some people have even attended school at the church, as it was used during the Second World War for children who were evacuated from London.”

For more information, see www.bethesdachapel.co.uk