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Archbishop of Canterbury Officiates at Opening of Manormead Supported Housing

The Archbishop blesses Manormead

Monday 25th February 2008

The Church of England Pensions Board's new showpiece retirement home Manormead Supported Housing was opened by the Archbishop at a special ceremony. It was also attended by the Bishop of Guildford, Rt Revd Christopher Hill, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Waverley, Councillor Maurice and Mrs Mary Byham.

To mark the occasion, a congregation of supported housing residents, neighbouring Manormead Came Home residents, Pension Board staff members and guests numbering 200 people in total, attended a Eucharist and dedication service at Manormead's own chapel, at which the Archbishop and Bishop officiated; this was followed by a short conducted tour of flats and the rest of the facilities, the unveiling of a plaque in the lounge by the Archbishop, and lunch for all guests in the dining room.

Before handing over to the Archbishop at the opening ceremony, Allan Bridgewater CBE, Chairman of the Church of England Pensions Board, commented: "I believe the service and dedication of our new chapel and the official opening of this new supported housing project bears witness to the extension and deepening of the links by the church in the wider community and has been accomplished eagerly. I'm delighted that so many are able to be here representing various interests."

Prior to unveiling the commemorative plaque, Dr Williams said: "I'd just like to echo the thanks that have been expressed to all those involved - not least to those involved as architects in this wonderful facility.

Offering superb accommodation for retired Church of England clergy, their spouses, and clergy widows and widowers, the newly rebuilt Manormead - comprising 28 individual flats, chapel, library, communal lounge and dining room - combines support, including overnight emergency cover, with independent living.

Lunch is provided in the dining room, but residents' flats have their own fully fitted kitchen in which to prepare other meals, together with generous living space.

Complete with beautiful gardens, fully equipped for the disabled, and boasting a biomass boiler that provides a minimum of 10 per cent of energy consumption, Manormead is a thriving modern Christian community, with regular worship, stimulating conversation and activities, all in the comfort of an airy, modern, purpose-built scheme.

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