THE United Church in Winchester is marking its 40th anniversary over the weekend of September 6-7.

In 1974, three churches in Winchester: two Methodist and one United Reformed, joined forces and make their presence felt in one city centre location and the United Church was born.

It took a further 17 years before the full vision for the church in Jewry Street was achieved, by which time the sanctuary had moved upstairs and a coffee bar and other meeting rooms had been created downstairs.

Everyone is invited to come and taste that coffee for free on Saturday, September 6 any time from 10am to 2pm.

Tea and cake will be served from 5pm followed by a light and varied celebration concert from 6.15pm to 7.30pm.

On Sunday former minister the Rev Howard Sharp will be preaching at the 10.30am celebration service.

Rev Debbie Borda, current minister, said: “We’re looking forward to a great celebration.

It was a huge step of faith for the two denominations to decide to become a united congregation.”