St. Gabriel’s: a brief history

St. Gabriel’s started life in a caravan in Dryden Close on the Popley 1 estate in 1967 in what was then a newly built London overspill estate.
When the caravan became too small for the increasing congregation the services were moved across the road to      St Bede’s, the Roman Catholic Church, in 1975, where worship continued on a Sunday morning until 1980.
A small chapel seating 32 people and including a church centre, kitchen and toilets was then erected in        Tewkesbury Close on the site where St Gabriel’s still stands today.
In early 1991 the chapel was extended to seat a  congregation of approximately 100 people, and we moved all the worship from St Bede’s to the new extension.
In 2017 St. Gabriel’s embarked on a major building project to meet the needs of a much larger congregation and an ever growing population in Popley.
This doubled the size of the existing community hall, extended, and refurbished the kitchen, gave us two new good-sized meeting rooms, and vastly improved our toilet facilities.
The build also allowed us to introduce TV screens, audio visual equipment and a high-spec IT network into our community areas.
The cost of this building project was provided by a loan from the Diocese, some generous grants from various sources including Basingstoke and Deane Local Infrastructure Funding, All Churches Trust and the Lottery Fund, and through our own fundraising efforts.
With events fundraising activities, and with a few donations, the congregation were also able to raise £70,000 towards the costs.

St. Gabriel’s is now firmly established as in integral part of the community where local people come to worship and learn about faith, as well as attending  life events such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals

The community hall is also a meeting place for the whole community and is well used by many different groups and organisations, ranging from a baby and toddler group, uniformed organisations such as The Boys Brigade and The Scouts, to The Golden Club – a bingo and coffee group for the overs 50s, and including a slimming group, a choir, and a dance group in between.

For two years we provided a full “Pop-up Church” for the day at the annual Popley Festival, a major community event which is attended by many people from the community and beyond.