DISCOVER:Church is a comfortable and welcoming church based at a repurposed theatre building in Bournemouth town centre. It has a single goal – to help kids DISCOVER: everything God has for them!
However, DISCOVER:Church provides a welcome to everyone of all ages and wants to facilitate believers, seekers, children and youth to discover three things: Jesus, the true you, and your mission.
DISCOVER:church (formerly Wessex Christian Centre)
The church, with its entrance on the busy Hinton Road, does not have a car park. There is plenty of local parking and car parks.
- The easiest car park is the Long Stay Car Park, in Upper Hinton Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2DE. It is reasonably priced for Bournemouth and is 5 minutes walk downhill to the church.
- Metro Car Park, Hinton Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2EN: This is closest to the church but is under the Metro Palace Hotel, parking can be quite tight.
- Westover Gardens Car Park, BH1 2BS: This is also close to the church but is more expensive because of its close proximity to the sea and the Pavilion Theatre
There are numerous buses that stop near to the church. The nearest is:
- Hinton Road Top (Stop ID: boudjam) - buses: 1 (ab&c), 2, 3, 4, 4a, 5, 5a, 6, 7, 7a, 17, 32, 33, M1, M2, N1, N2, N5 and Breezer 50 all stop here.
For More Information on getting to the church please see:
The Church's Interesting history:
Built in the early 1930's for the Bournemouth Little Theatre Company the 600 seater theatre was designed by Seal & Hardy for stage productions and the theatre had excellent acoustics for the spoken word. The outside of the building gave a nod to London's Whitehall Theatre and had an Egyptian-esque façade. It was officially opened in June 1931 by playwright and author St. John Greer Ervine.
The theatre was renamed the Palace Court Theatre not log after opening because of it closeness to the then Palace Court Hotel (now the Premier Inn Bournemouth Central). The theatre continued to thrive throughout the 1940's, 50's and 60's and became a central hub in Bournemouth. Its stage was also graced by many a famous actor of stage and screen.
However, the 1970's brought change as society began watching TV and theatre audiences dropped. The theatre was sold to 'Louis I. Michaels Limited' at the beginning of that decade and was re-purposed as a duplex cinema and theatre complex called the Galaxy Cinema and Playhouse Theatre. Unfortunately, audiences continued to decline and by 1983 upon he death of Louise Michael the theatre partially closed.
During that time though the Assemblies of God rented the building to hold a Sunday service in. This was overseen by Revd. Brian Downward and when the building was put up for sale the church sought to purchase it. Through a clear miracle, God soon made it possible for them to acquire the theatre property for their exclusive use. At that time there was an outcry by certain theatre loving groups who didn't want to lose the opportunity for another theatre company to take it over. There was a drawn-out public inquiry into the councils planning permission for the change of use to a church. This was not fully granted until 1990.
Many changes have been made to the building over the last 30 years, including a major foyer and entrance renovation, a complete refit of the main sanctuary which included new seating, lighting and sound systems, but they continue today to enjoy the benefits of a building designed from the outset to welcome people in.
Wessex Christian Centre changed its name to DISCOVER:church in the summer of 2018. The church maybe youth-centric, but everyone of any age is welcome. They live out the principle that kids and young people are not just the 'church of tomorrow', they are TODAY'S church!
for further information see:
- Playhouse Theatres Trust: https://database.theatrestrust.org.uk/resources/th...
- Bournemouth Echo: https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/features/sn...