A REVEREND has launched an appeal to raise £750,000 to transform a church into a 'sustainable' hub for the community.

Rt Rev. Ian Humphrey has submitted plans to Ribble Valley Council for the construction of an extension to Trinity Methodist Church, Wesleyan Row, on Parson Lane, Clitheroe.

Following a recent review of the site, church bosses said there is a lack of integration between the church hall and church buildings, which are separated by a pedestrian walkway, and are used by over 36 outside groups, including the Citizens Advice Bureau and Ribble Valley food bank.

The single storey extension will connect the existing church with the church hall, which are believed to have been constructed in the 19th century, and form a new entrance and community area.

Other renovation plans include the demolition of an old meeting room at the front of the church, which was built as an extension in the 1960s, and the creation of a new pedestrian entrance which will link the neighbouring Castle Park.

The Clitheroe based Church has already received £300,000 from various community groups and churches at local, district and circuit level and hopes to raise more to complete the 'ambitious' scheme.

Rt Rev. Humphrey said: "We renovated the inside of the front of the Church in 2015 but now we want to join the church buildings with the back buildings and create a new space in between because sadly the buildings are old and worn out.

"The church could have just redecorated and keep things as they are but there was a real feeling that we need to change things up.

"Major things are changing in Clitheroe and we are attracting a lot of new housing but there are no additional community facilities to cater for the extra people which is why we wanted to be ambitious.

"We are doing this because there is a vision to serve the community in a relevant and meaningful way and to make the church a community hub."

Cllr Allan Knox, who represents the area and regularly attends meetings at the church, said: "This seems like an eminently sensible idea if the church is able to raise the funds to create a new space.

"There just aren't enough community spaces in Clitheroe that are acceptable for people to use.

"This could change that."

A decision planning application, which was submitted two weeks ago, will take place in three months time.