In September 2018 Hope Church purchased the former Odeon cinema in the centre of Ipswich. The 5-screen cinema, built in the early 90s, is an iconic building in the town and has stood empty since 2005. We have plans to transform it into the Hope Centre, giving considerable room for us to grow as a church community and to grow the many and varied ministries that are serving our town.


Here are some answers to questions that you may have:

We are aiming to make a full move from the Orwell Centre to the Hope Centre in the first half of 2021. Some further refurbishment may still take place in the years to come after we've moved in order to make the centre an excellent community hub. 
The centre will accommodate the following features.
  • A 700-seater auditorium.
  • A smaller 175 seater auditorium which would function as a multi-use room. 
  • Several smaller multi-use rooms. 
  • Multiple offices for Hope Church staff and others.
  • A cafe open to the general public. 
You can check out the proposed floor plans for the redevelopment below.
As a church we are giving into "Journey Offerings" twice a year. We had a big offering in March 2020 and our next one will be in November 2020. We would welcome investment in this in advance of November - please do so via our giving page and reference Journey Offering in your online gift. If you wish to make a no-interest loan, please contact us at the nearest opportunity. We are also seeking to raise significant funds through the sale of our current premises on Fore Hamlet as well as through grant funding. 
Regular updates, photos and news will appear on this page. Why not bookmark this page and follow us on Twitter for alerts and news.
Please do join us in prayer for this project - for God's wisdom, provision & protection throughout! This is more than just a building project; it's an opportunity to love & serve our town, make more room at the table and make Jesus famous in Ipswich and the nations. If you would like more specific and regular prayer points, you can sign up here to receive these via email.

    The Plans

    Swipe through the plans below to see what the final layout of the building will be like. 


    WhatsApp Image 2020-02-25 at 13.05.06


    In 1991, Orwell Christian Fellowship (later to become known as Hope Church) moved out from a house in Ipswich and into Copleston High School. This was a massive step of faith at the time, trusting that God would not only meet the resulting financial implications, but also all the organisational and pastoral commitments that came with opening the doors to Ipswich on a much larger scale. Little did they know that when they took that step of faith, God was lining up something much bigger… something that, at the time, would have blown their minds. That same year, in 1991, a 33,000 square-foot, 5 screen cinema was built right in the middle of Ipswich, and twenty-nine years later, that building would become the home of Hope Church. What a God we serve! He has infinite resources and He loves it when we grow and step out in faith – I wonder what He’s doing now in preparation for what’s in store in 30 years from now.

    Welcome to the blog for the redevelopment of the former Odeon cinema; ‘The Hope Centre’. My name is Matt Cornish, I am managing the project and I intend to regularly update with developments, news, photos and prayer points as we progress. It’s going to be an exciting year as the building starts to transform into a space which God will use for His Church, His Kingdom’s advance, serving the town and where Jesus’ name will be made famous here in Ipswich and in the Nations. Click here if you would like to know more about who Hope Church are and our vision and values.


    It’s been a while since my last blog entry, and it’s been a funny period. Whilst there have been some exciting and significant developments, much of this latest stage has involved a lot of preparation and getting everything lined up for the final push. That being said, there is still plenty to show and lots to be excited about, particularly in the Auditorium. But first, for anyone following on social media or having driven past in the last month, you’ll have noticed the fantastic signs going up outside the building!


    These face lit signs, saying ‘The Hope Centre’ on the front and ‘HOPE’ on the side, are so exciting!! What a declaration to the town!! A statement of what we’re about. They look fantastic and capture the attention of everyone who passes the building. I’ve personally had many conversations with people walking past, many saying things like ‘this is exactly what we need right now’. Whilst the signs were due to remain off until we open, we’re excited to be lighting them up for the whole weekend at the end of October as a statement to the town that Hope shines brighter!

    On to the Auditorium, the walls, stage and fire exit extension have been completed. You may remember that the walls are ‘perforated’ and ‘wavy’ on the side walls; which helps acoustically to let sound through and to disperse it in different directions for a ‘better spread of sound’. Already the acoustics in the room sound fantastic.


    The stage has been finished and just looks great! The final stage space will not be as deep as it appears at present as there will be an acoustic curtain and backstage access. The area void above the stage will allow for a lighting truss and cameras.

    The rooms at the back of the Auditorium have now been formed, which includes a store room (with back stage access) and two changing rooms. The changing rooms will be used for baptisms in our brand-new baptism pool installed under the floor; fully plumbed in to be able to fill and drain as required.


    Other than that, this is where the ‘sexy’ updates stop. The rest of the progress in the building has been laying the groundwork for the final stage of install to happen. This includes all the wiring around the building, including plugs, internet, fire alarms, lighting, air-conditioning & security, all important to get in before sealing up the walls, ceilings and floors. There have also been alterations to the ‘air handling’ system which brings air into the building, heats it when required and then extracts it out again.


    We’re entering into the last stage of developments now. As I write, the first fixtures of the air conditioning are being installed, fire barriers beneath the floor and above the ceilings are going in to compartmentalise the building & the fire alarm system is continuing to be installed.

    Then from tomorrow, some more exciting things as work will start on building a new ramp & PA desk in the Auditorium. I will also be meeting with some contractors to plan out a schedule of works for the remaining walls and repairs. I will then be able to coordinate with electricians, painters, flooring specialists, ceiling installers, door manufacturers and more to set out a plan for the remainder of the project. This should then give us a likely date of completion. Please pray for wisdom for putting all that together, or for more specific prayer points you can sign up to the email prayer list by clicking here .

    This project is predominantly financed by the generous giving by many at Hope Church any beyond. We have seen God’s faithfulness in abundance so far in this project but there is much more to come. If you would like to give into the Hope Centre project, you can do so by clicking here. Alternatively, if you would like more information please email office@hopeipswich.co.uk.



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