A DEDICATION service for a new telescope and piano for the community took place in Southminster.

A service was held at St Lawrence Church on Saturday, May 5.

The telescope is located in the churchyard with extensive views across the river from Maldon to Mersea.

The piano is inside St Lawrence Church where it can be used in the main church area or in the Annexe.

It was conducted by Rev Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral, and Rector Rev Steven Poss.

They were joined by Chairman of St Lawrence Parish Council Councillor Carole Taylor, the St Lawrence Singers, Chairman of Essex County Council Councillor John Aldridge, MP John Whittingdale and Maldon District Councillors Penny Channer and Michael Helm.

The new facilities will be free of charge and can be used by all ages.

A grant of £5,500 had been received from the Essex County Council Community Initiative Fund for the telescope and information boards.

The grant was made as part of an initiative to encourage tourism in the area and to enhance the relationship between the Church and the community.