Funding has been granted for Holy Trinity Church to kick-start a massive refurbishment by providing audio-visual equipment.
The church is making a bid to maintain its Victorian building properly with £500,000 of changes, allowing it to be more of a social space for community groups to use.
Kick-starting the improvements, Revd Canon Barbara Mary Holbrook told Kimberley Town Council that £6,000 worth of audio-visual equipment, including two 60-inch LED screens either side of the front arch, would be the first step in making it usable as fundraising continues for other improvements.
She added: “Holy Trinity is suffering from the long-term effects of being heated for two hours a week.
“The best way forward would be to make it our church hall space as well as our worship space.”
Small local groups such as the Brownies could use the building seven days a week and the screens would be the first of a number of works, eventually aiming to install new toilets, kitchen facilities, and improve external features.
Revd Holbrook added: “If there was any support from the council we would like it to be in something that enhances the building.”
Council chairman Dr David Nunn said at their March 26 meeting: “I’m in favour of supporting this project and I think the council should make a modest contribution.
He proposed to donate half the cost of £3,000 and the council voted in favour, with two abstentions.
Jim Dymond said: “It does worry me slightly about donating to a church. I find it very difficult to attend a meeting where the agenda says we are to be given a presentation on audio-visual equipment and at the end of it we’re asked to contribute £6,000.”
The council was criticised for pushing through the funding so close to election.