A YEOVIL church is celebrating a milestone this week - 80 years of preaching the gospel in Somerset.

It was back on September 9, 1928, that the local branch of the Elim Pentecostal Church held its first meeting at North Hill Farm in West Camel, before moving to its current home in Southville, Yeovil, a year later.

The church has gone through a few changes since then, with its current building on Southville being opened in 1987 by Lord Paddy Ashdown. Today, it is still going strong and earlier this year brought the Quedam Shopping Centre to a standstill with an open-air baptism.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary, Rev Colin Dye, the pastor of one of London's largest churches, Kensington Temple, will be taking special services on Saturday night and Sunday morning on September 6-7.

Yeovil Mayor, Cllr Wes Read, MP David Laws and a number of previous pastors are also planning to attend the service to show their support for the church.

Howard Davenport, the current pastor at Yeovil Elim, said: “We wanted to celebrate this milestone for the church in style.

“It's a great chance to look back at what God's done in this town and the lives He's changed through the church.”

“We have a gazillion photos that we'll be sharing with the congregation of 80 years of people getting saved, baptised, camping, tearing down buildings, putting up buildings, grannies, children and baldies, we even have a picture of a previous pastor's wife throwing a brick through a church window. Now we're just looking forwards to the next 80 years!”

This week's service, like all Elim's services, is open to anyone and everyone. The Saturday evening service starts at 7.30pm with the Sunday morning service at 10.30am.

More information is available from the church office on 01935-429214.