New church rises up on the site of the old

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS - RACHEL PAR­RISH rachel.par­rish@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A GLO­RI­OUS new build­ing has risen from the rub­ble of Burbage Methodist Church.

Af­ter years of plan­ning and fundrais­ing by the vil­lage con­gre­ga­tion, their out­dated Vic­to­rian red brick build­ing was razed to the ground last De­cem­ber and a strik­ing wood and glass struc­ture put up in its place.

Con­nect is now home to both the church and wider com­mu­nity, with a multi-func­tional wor­ship hall, din­ing area, kitchen, quiet room, storge space, small func­tion room with kitch­enette and toi­lets.

The £700,000 tim­ber con­struc­tion by Der­byshire-based Pinelog fea­tures so­lar pan­els, un­der­floor heat­ing and fully in­te­grated IT sys­tems, in­clud­ing a large dig­i­tal screen in the main hall and con­cealed sock­ets to ac­com­mo­date in­tru­ments and amps for con­tem­po­rary mu­si­cal ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

It is ex­pected to be less costly to run than the old build­ing and will have a sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced car­bon foot­print.

An in­au­gu­ral ser­vice was held there on Au­gust bank hol­i­day Sun­day and the build­ing has been open since then for vil­lagers to visit.

Passers-by will be struck by the build­ing’s glass-pan­elled fa­cade, its curved wooden skele­ton and mod­ern metal cru­ci­fix float­ing in front.

In­side, its tongue-and-grooved wooden ceil­ing and gen­tly shaped beams sit over­head like an up­turned boat, a 21st cen­tury take on a me­dieval stone nave.

The pre­vi­ous church build­ing had be­come ufit for pur­pose, with a first-floor wor­ship space that was al­most in­ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple with mo­bil­ity prob­lems and com­pletely out of bounds to wheelchair users.

Only the al­tar ta­ble, lectern and a match­ing flower pedestal, made spe­cially for the church, have been re­in­stated in the new hall.

Church sup­port­ers worked for years to raise the money to make this build­ing a re­al­ity, gen­er­at­ing nearly £340,000 which was boosted by a grant of £200,000 from the Methodist Con­nex­ion fund, £80,000 from Hinck­ley Methodist Church Cir­cuit and other do­na­tions.

Bar­well Methodist Church min- is­ter the Rev David Hasel­dine, who serves as part of the Hinck­ley Methodist Cir­cuit, said: “The church has per­se­vered and qui­etly kept on work­ing, to en­sure the build­ing work could be­gin.

“Tear­ing the old build­ing down and get­ting it re­built gets you to the start point again.

“What is most ex­cit­ing about the project is the op­por­tu­nity this new build­ing will give to the con­gre­ga­tion and the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.”

Church vol­un­teers are con­tin­u­ing to work around the build­ing, cre­at­ing a new gar­den and clean­ing the large car park which has served for months as a build­ing site.

Church use of the build­ing is still be­ing de­vel­oped but the new fa­cil­i­ties may in fu­ture be avail­able for hire.

Hire re­quest forms are avail­able from Anne Had­don on ccha­d­don@dunelm.org.uk

Burbage Methodist Church mem­bers dig in to help cre­ate a new gar­den area out­side a new £700,000 com­mu­nity build­ing and place of wor­ship which opened to the pub­lic af­ter its first ser­vice on Au­gust bank hol­i­day Sun­day 2017 Church mu­si­cian Rose­mary Brad­burn was in­stru­men­tal in driv­ing for­ward the new build project

A new £700,000 wooden com­mu­nity build­ing and place of wor­ship, to be known as Con­nect - Home of Burbage Methodist Church, opened its doors for a week to wel­come vis­i­tors af­ter host­ing its first church ser­vice on Au­gust bank hol­i­day

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