MP to declare chapel open

NEAA Kimberley Chapel Refurbish
NEAA Kimberley Chapel Refurbish

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry will officially open Kimberley Chapel on the Hill later this month.

The MP said “I am delighted and honoured to be opening the chapel and pay full tribute to Kimberley Town Council and the volunteers for the restoration of it.

“The work has been done with respect for its history and the families of those buried in the cemetery.

“I am sure the chapel is now a place we can all be proud of.”

Kimberley’s cemetery chapel – renamed the chapel on the hill – has just re-opened after a massive makeover to bring it back to its former glory.

The first funeral took place last month, and now the chapel will be officially opened by Ms Soubry on October 29.

The following week on Saturday November 5 there will open day for members of the public between 10am and 2pm.

People can see the inside of the building for themselves, and browse a variety of stalls hosted by wedding planners, florists and funeral directors.

Kimberley Town Council chairman Roy Plumb said: “People can enjoy looking at the building and the views over the valley. It should be a very pleasant day.”

Kimbeley town councillor Trevor Rood led the restoration project, which saw local tradesmen volunteer and work tirelessly to give the chapel a new lease of life.

He said: “I work in the building trade so I know a lot of local tradesmen.

“I think it’s great. It’s beautiful inside. It looks amazing,” he added.

Coun Plumb said the chapel looked ‘superb’ and Coun Steve Brunt said he ‘shed a tear’ when first saw it following the restoration.

Coun Plumb said: “It’s unbelievable. The quality of the finish is superb. It’s back to its original form just with modernised electric lighting. Everything has been fully restored and it’s in-keeping with its original build.

“It really is superb. I can’t praise the tradesmen who worked on it enough. They put their heart and soul into it to make it what it is now.

“I struggle to find words to describe how pleased I am with it. It’s iconic. The renovation is truly up to the standards of the original build.”

The chapel, which used to be solely used for funerals, can now also be used for weddings and naming ceremonies.

Coun Steve Brunt said: “It’s truly been a community DIY SOS. So many people pulled together and volunteered their services free of charge to bring it back to its former glory. So all credit to them.

“Whilst work was going on people always popped in and said thank goodness it’s being saved. We even had phone calls and emails from people who were just over the moon with what was being done. Not one person said it wasn’t worth it. We had such positive feedback.

“Now it looks absolutely stunning. I went in the day of the first funeral last month and it brought a tear to my eye. It was overwhelming,” added Coun Brunt.

The chapel’s pews and internal doors were taken out and dipped to remove varnish that had been repeatedly coated on them.

The rotten floor was removed and replaced with reclaimed floorboards, and thick black varnish on ornate wooden fretwork was painstakingly removed and re-varnished.

Paint was taken off the brickwork, plastic panels on the windows were replaced with leaded minster glass, door frames were repainted, and Victorian Gothic-style cartwheel lights were put up to replace dated strip lights.

Kimberley Chapel was built in 1883 by local builders Shaw and Brassington, and cost £1,480.