Basingstoke Team Parish Area
Basingstoke (Hampshire) is a town with a population of over 110,000. Approximately half of the population lives within the area of the Team Parish. Basingstoke was a market town and staging post between London and Winchester that had a dramatic expansion in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period many outlying areas were built on as new estates for the overspill population of London. Demolition of a large part of the old town centre was undertaken to provide for a new shopping centre.
During the 1980s and 1990s, expansion of the town continued as the building of more "executive style housing" took place around the edges of the town. Housing development continues with parts of the town expanding outwards. The Team Parish serves what remains of the old town and most of the London overspill estates. While the overall population of the Team Parish is relatively static, there is high mobility. Extensive refurbishment of the town shopping centre was completed in 2002 with the opening of "Festival Place", a major retail and leisure complex. Adjacent to the town centre are the Haymarket Theatre and the Anvil concert hall.
Basingstoke has a large mobile workforce that serves the many retail establishments and business operations in the vicinity. Many well known national companies have facilities around the town. There is a low rate of unemployment. The town is within commuting distance of London - by rail (45 minutes to Waterloo) or via the M3, or M4. Reading, Newbury, Oxford, Winchester and Southampton are all accessible by rail or road.
Basingstoke is a centre for healthcare. The North Hampshire Hospital is served by full-time chaplains and St. Michael's Hospice, on the same campus is served by a part-time chaplain. Many national companies have a presence in the Basingstoke area, including the Automobile Association (national headquarters), Sainsburys (depot and two stores), Sony, Motorola, Ffyffes.