I AM disappointed in the shortsighted decision to shut down the plans for a new theatre on Bath Street (Warrington Guardian, July 11).

We are living in a time where hope, meaning-making and vision are so sorely needed, particularly in the lives of our children and young adults.

These inestimable civic values are inspired by parks and green spaces, museums and places of worship, and theatres.

I’m very grateful for the new cinema, and the bowling alley too, but there’s nothing like live theatre and while amateur dramatics groups can use a variety of spaces (including our chapel), there is no denying the community theatre scene thrives by having a special location fit for purpose.

While I have nothing against shopping malls per se – I go myself at times – no-one has ever said to me, ‘my life was turned around by the great deals at Primark’.

Theatres, not shops, are the lifeblood of a vibrant, hopeful community.

When we are reading the crime news in the Warrington Guardian 10 years hence, remember that when these young people in our community were desperate for places to have their minds expanded, hearts nourished, and spirits uplifted, we gave them expensive shopping malls.

REV BOB JANIS-DILLON Cairo Street Unitarian Chapel