NEW development options that could cost up to £1million have been put to the congregation of a Ribble Valley church that can trace its roots back to the 15th century.
More than 150 people attended a meeting at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Clitheroe to discuss whether to build an extension on to the church to form as a new community centre or to re-order the interior of the church to create more room.
This is the first time that the detailed plans have been put directly to congregation members after being in the pipe line for several months.
A consultation period has now been started and church bosses hope that definite plans will be decided on by September.
Part of the money for the Grade II*-listed Clitheroe Parish Church project will be raised through the sale of the St Mary’s Centre which is set to be completed by the Lancaster foundation and church reserves.
The congregation would aim to raise the rest of the money while construction was being carried out.
The church has recently finished raising money for covering the costs of repairing the spire which dates back to 1848 after it fell into disrepair.
Rev Andy Froud said: “We are looking at securing the church for our children’s children and beyond.
“It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Clitheroe so we are very mindful of not spoiling that.
“We are in desperate need for a building that’s suitable for worship in the 21st Century and either one of the plans that could be adopted will help us realise that.
“The extension or the reordering of the church would be aimed at benefiting the congregation and also the wider community.
“This is such an iconic structure in Clitheroe that we need the whole of the town to get behind this and work with us.
“Our budget will be anyway between £500,000 and £1,000,000 and the full project cost depends which option people go for.
“This is a significant step forward because up to now it’s only been rough ideas.”