A new Church of England school has opened in a Hampshire town, which will also provide the base for a new church.

Acting Bishop of Portsmouth, Rob Wickham, opened the new Cornerstone C of E Primary School in Whiteley, which will also host Hope Church.

The school comes after eight years in a temporary location. This will be the first permanent location for the church, which started in 1995, as they have met in people's homes, the community centre and online since then.

The £12million building in Bluebell Way was created by Hampshire County Council to help cater for thousands of families who will move to new homes in North Whiteley over the next few years. The school currently has around 200 pupils, but can now accommodate 630 four to 11-year-olds.

The new chapel can be used by both school and church during the week for toddler groups, coffee mornings, small acts of worship and other community activities.

Jo Vartan, Hope Church's churchwarden and learning support assistant at the school, said: “It's really exciting that Hope Church is part of Cornerstone School, and that the school is at the heart of developing the community that we want to serve.

“It has been emotional, there were tears in the school hall because we've been waiting for so long. I've been involved with the church here for 15 years. Meeting in the community centre was great, but this will make us really visible as a church to the whole community.”

Guests and dignitaries joined staff and pupils for the first act of worship, led by Bishop Rob and Rev Phillipa Mills, vicar of Hope Church.

The original Cornerstone C of E Primary School was opened in 2013 in Bader Way, which catered to the existing Whiteley Primary School.

Whiteley Church originally started meeting in 1995. The church met in a number of different locations before settling in Whiteley Community Centre in Gull Coppice in 2002.