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UK's first Bible-themed play centre a huge hit

by Tola Mbakwe

The Hideaway in Manchester is catered to children up to the age of ten and has a mix of play and education spaces.

Its co-founder Andy Lancey told Premier News Hour about what's available.

"We've got a reading area, which is a chilled out space where they have story time... there's also craft area, sports areas, soft play, then we've got a Lego construction zone and café as well."

The Hideaway, which also runs after-school clubs, is the first phase of a larger project.

Lancey said the centre will become part of Hidden Treasure Discovery Centre which will provide innovative ways to tell biblical stories and help children break out of cycles of "hopelessness and despair".

"When we go to the Hidden Treasure stage, we're going to telling all kinds of Bible stories," he said.

"We're going to have a city wall, then we're going to be talking about the Jericho wall, then we're going to be talking about Nehemiah and bring that story in using the construction zone, we'll also be having an area about Daniel's training zone and different things he did, as well as some of the New Testament stories."

The centre, which is expected to open in 2019, was the brain child of Lancey's wife Ruth. He said she wanted to find interactive ways for children to apply Bible stories and principles to their lives.

"She's been working with our church in the community... and has a passion to see the Bible come through into people's lives," he told Premier.

"Obviously it's not so much talked about in schools and children don't know about it, but we wanted to have a biblical foundation using Bible stories to speak about play, to speak about their character and to give children that sense of who they are through those stories. "

Listen to Andy Lancey speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun here : 

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