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The River Centre Church

The most recent church to be founded in Tonbridge is The River Centre Church, formerly "Church on the Way".  The church was founded in 1998 by Rev. Rupert Foxwell and a group of people from St. Saviour's Church in Dry Hill Park Road, initially meeting at Delarue Hall, Delarue Close, Shipbourne Road (see below).

Delarue Hall, the church's first meeting place

The church is an interdenominational church, affiliated to the Renewal Churches Trust.  Children and adults find a warm welcome at the church, and there are family services and special groups for teenagers and children midweek.

Although still young, Church on the Way grew strongly and moved to a new Ł4.8 million conference centre, named the "River Centre" on the Whitefriars site in the heart of Tonbridge town centre in January 2003 (an artist's impression is shown below).

Architect's drawing of the River Centre
Image © Church on the Way

In moving, the church aimed to become more actively involved in the life of the town, as the previous location was over a mile from the town centre. The new building is not only used by the church, but also as an exhibition centre for other organisations, with facilities including a 750-seater auditorium, meeting rooms, catering facilities and an exhibition area.

The church officially changed its name to The River Centre Church shortly after moving to its new premises.

In late 2006, the church announced plans to build a Ł25 million, 12-storey glass tower housing a Christian education centre, next to its main building.  Planning permission for the tower, which will be Tonbridge's tallest modern building by far, was granted in August 2007.

(Article re-written by Keith Halstead in 2007.)

Web For further information, visit the River Centre Church's website.
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