Life in a new township


In May 2013, See Round, the newspaper of St.Albans diocese, reported on the new church at Wixams.

The whole of BBC Three Counties Easter Sunday Breakfast programme came from Wixhams, a development to the south of Bedford, expected to become the third largest settlement in Bedford Borough after Bedford and Kempston. The broadcast marked the first service of worship of Wixams Church from the newly opened Lakeview Village Hall and many of the participants in the service took part in the programme.

The Bishop of Bedford drew together the new beginning for Archbishop Justin, the new beginning of Wixams church and the new beginning of the resurrection. He recalled the words of the Ghanaian song from his inauguration:

"Patience! A new beginning is upon us. God will show us the way. A new beginning is upon us, it is in Wixams Ö It was in Canterbury, it can be for you."

The first homes were built in Wixams in 2007 but it was not until 2011 that the hope of the churches to appoint a minister was realised. Wixams Church is jointly sponsored by the Baptist Union, Church of England, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, and also works with the Roman Catholics. The church is led by Revd Tim Jackson.

Eventually the settlement will be home to 10,000 people (a considerable increase on the 600 homes currently there) and will include a new town centre. The hope is that, from within the new community, a new church can thrive.

By contrast this letter was printed in Bedfordshire on Sunday 21 April 2013

"The second Wixams community forum took place last week, and only four months late due to continued bureaucracy preventing the opening of the village hall.

The same groups were represented and once again the builders were conspicuous by their absence.

It appears they were, for some unexplained reason not invited.

The update from the Wilstead parish council chairman included little positive information.

There are still issues with parking, litter and dog mess, cycling on the footpaths, slow internet and model aircraft noise.

Extra issues raised were the lack of recreation facilities for the youths and the delayed allotments not having any parking nearby. We heard from the Mayor that there are no health care facility or middle school on the horizon. We also heard that the builders can break the working time permit with impunity, as the borough will not take any action.

When asked about the purpose of the 10 metre bus lane, the Mayor said it was to prevent a rat run through Wixams and make the concrete lorries turn left.

So the massive lorries going to the industrial estate can use the north roundabout but the smaller concrete lorries canít?

Other news is that the new BR station should be open by the end of 2015.

The developer and the council are just stumbling along and the forum is a half hearted attempt to paper over the cracks."


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