MORE than 100 people gave up their time to clean-up a church centre at the weekend.

St Augustine's RC Parish Centre, in Larchfield Street, Darlington, is planning to open its doors to the wider community.

The people of the parish came together on Saturday to clean, garden, paint and generally freshen up the parish centre building, youth building and the surrounding grounds.

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It wasn't all hard work as the voluntary workers enjoyed hot food, tea and coffee and the children, who had a play area, were all given free ice-creams.

Parish priest Father Seamus Doyle said: "We have an excellent facility here and we're trying to give it a better presentation. It goes through different stages and we're going to look out beyond ourselves to the wider community. We've a great spirit here and we're very grateful for everyone who has helped."

Mike Denham, secretary of the parish centre committee, said: "Use of the facility has dropped and we wanted to build a community event to make it more useful to a range of different groups. The response has been tremendous. We're interested in new ideas and new activities."

Last Thursday the centre held a parent-and-child World Cup night for the England match which was packed out. It is also available for weddings and corporate events.

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