A CONGREGATION'S prayer for a new roof has been answered as Clayton Gospel Hall gets set for a new era.

The hall in Bradford Road is having a rededication for worship service at the end of this month now workmen have got the job done and moved off site.

The service, at 10.45am on Sunday, August 31, will be led by new pastor Christopher Rushton, 27, was was just three-years-old when he started attending worship at that very church.

Acting as an assistant pastor, he had been due to take over the reins from the gospel hall's established pastor David Jackson over time, but members of the congregation were shocked in May this year when the pastor died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 62.

Pastor David was well-known in the Clayton community and had served at the church for seven years - assisted by his wife Christine who was the Sunday school teacher - Mrs Jackson and her youngest son Christopher, 17, have now moved to be nearer other family in Northampton.

"It has been a difficult time for us - being in the throes of fundraising and losing Pastor David, then his family who were a massive part of our lives here but we have come to the start of a new era now - and David would have been very proud of what we've achieved - with his help."

The new roof cost £16,000 to replace the weather-damage and old asbestos tiles, crumbling pebble dash also needed replacing - and the hall's floor has had a new coat of varnish.

"The rededication celebration is an opportunity for anyone who has not been to church for a while to visit or rejoin us. We'll also be having a bring and share lunch to enjoy afterwards," said Mr Rushton.

While the gospel hall was shut for repairs, it had temporarily relocated to The Friendship Centre on Thornaby Drive because many of its members are nvolved with Clayton Estate Community Action Group, who rent the centre from Incommunities.

He added: "We have been through a lot so are grateful to still be here! Without the support of groups such as Clayton Parish Council and other neighbouring churches, we would not have got through the last few months."