Special celebration for Christchurch...
CHRISTCHURCH Methodist is staging a special celebration on Sunday (May 20) to mark the fact the church has cleared the cost of an ambitious £380,000 project to refurbish the premises in Field Street.
The project was called A4A (Access for All) and involved a renovation which ensured the building was designed for the needs of all.
Peter Wood, of the Chirstchurch Property committee said it was a significant milestone in the long history of Methodism in Shepshed.
“The A4A project has been completed, done and dusted, built and paid for. Now A4A will continue, spiritually, offering a warm welcome to everyone in Shepshed to use, enjoy, and find fellowship and comfort in our adapted building designed for the needs of all.”
The seeds of the A4A project were sown more than 20 years ago when the Church property committee started to consider how to update the premises - the possibility of demolishment and building new was an option thought through and rejected.
In 2006, the church became aware that Leicestershire County Council was looking for premises for a day centre and made the offer of Christchurch. The space available wasn’t suitable but it triggered phase one of the building update and a £150,000 scheme which saw a coffee bar, vestry, guild room and primary combined into one large area with a level entry through patio doors in the east wall. The day centre moved in, adopted the name “New Fields” and stayed for nine years.
The next few years saw the detail development of plans for phase 2, comprising the major rearrangement of the rest of the building to provide the unobstructed access and three separate self-contained areas currently in place. At the same time the church sought to replace pews with chairs to create flexibility in the worship area. The £15,000 cost was met chair by chair by church members along with a generous donation from a once very active church leader.
After countless fund-raising initiatives and lots of grant application funds were secured in 2014 and approval for work to begin was given by the Church Council. An unexpected delay after the original contractor pulled out, saw work final begin in October 2015 and completed in May 2016, financed by money donated, grants from Methodist departments, external grants and interest free loans from church members and others.
Mr Wood added: “So here we are in May 2018 just two years after completion and our joyful rededication, with the debt cleared. Enormous thanks are due to all those who have worked so energetically to raise funds and to others, who have given generously in order to see the church debt free.”
The Celebration will begin at 10.45am on Sunday, with an All Age Morning Service including a Family Communion, followed by a Faith Lunch.
The new entrance porch at Chirstchurch Methodist church in Shepshed, where the new lift was installed allowing easy access to the upper floor.