A 176-year-old church is preparing to re-open its doors to its congregation after after a £150,000 renovation that has taken seven months.
Originally built in 1938, St James the Great in Brinsley has undergone a massive transformation to turn it into a space for both worship as well as wider community use and will celebrate a relaunch tomorrow (Saturday July 26).
Over the last few months, the pews have been removed, an oak floor laid, underfloor heating installed and a kitchen and toilets built.
A large meeting room has also been created and the whole interior has been redecorated with new energy-efficient lights fitted and stackable chairs.
Churchwarden Peter Fletcher, who got married in the church 40 years ago to his wife Jane, said he was delighted with the church’s new look.
He said: “We wanted to make the church more accessible and flexible for the whole community to use.
“It is looking very good now. We want people to come along to the showcase on Saturday and see what they will be able to use the space for.”
The decision to renovate the church was made in 2008, when Brinsley Church Hall was demolished because it had become unsafe to use and uneconomical to repair.
However some funds for a new community hall had already been raised and community groups such as the Brownies and Scouts were in desperate need of a meeting place.
Local tradespeople have been used throughout the building work including the Rev David Stevenson, who is a former joiner.
The showcase event will run from 2pm to 5pm and everyone in the community is welcome.
A re-opening service will take place on Sunday (July 27) at 10.30am led by the vicar, the Rev David Stevenson, with guest speaker the Archdeacon of Newark, the Venerable David Picken.
In conjunction with the grand reopening of St James’, Brinsley author Stan Smith, alias Ztan Smith is launching his 15th local book entitled ‘Brinsley Revelations’.
The book costs £2 and can be obtained from Brinsley Post Office or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.