Chatburn parishioners in refurb bid for 175-year-old church

PARISHIONERS in Chatburn are bidding to raise £83,000 to refurbish their 175-year-old church.

Congregation members at Christ Church have raised almost £10,000 so far to create new kitchen and toilet facilities and a new vestry.

The Grade II-listed church was the first constructed during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Church members have held a series of events throughout the year to mark the church’s anniversary and to raise money for the work.

Almost 200 people turned out for a 1940s evening in May and a series of concerts have been staged, with the next one due to be held on Friday.

The church has also applied for four grants and is set to submit a further three grant applications.

Canon Rodney Nicholson, who has been at the church for 11 years, said that he hoped that work would start in the spring and would conclude around October 2014.

He said: “This work is being done not just for the congregation but also for the community as a whole.

“We want to use the church for community events as well as services and having a kitchen and a toilet would allow us to expand our activities.

“It would be fantastic to have the new facilities but we still have a very long way to go.

“I’m thinking of retiring in September next year and I hope that the project will be nearing completion by then.”

Clive Greenwood, who has been at the church since 1967, said: “I’m very keen to get this all sorted by the end of next year.

“When the church was built 175 years ago no-one thought about needing a kitchen or toilets so we are trying to bring the building into the 21st Century.

“It’s important to offer more than just services at the church and we already hold regular film nights.

“The facilities would be a considerable improvement because at the moment we have to use the nearby primary school’s toilet facilities during large events.”

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