New lease of life for church
A BID to save a church which first opened in 1853 has been given the go-ahead by town hall planners.
Westhoughton United Reformed Church, also known as Bethel, wants to refurbish the building, sell it and lease some of the space for other activities.
The whole building is set to be sold but the current ground floor would be leased as a worship space.
Plans to refurbish the church and create more nursery space have now been approved by Bolton council.
The proposed changes include installing new heating, modern lighting and other new technology.
The external fabric of the buildings would be maintained but changes would include new windows and doors. The graveyard would continue to be maintained by the church.
Theatre group Bethel Crowd, which has around 50 members, uses the building twice a week. Daisy Hill pre-school, which has been based at the church since 1974, is open at the site every day throughout the week.