£130,000 for church
1:47pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A Tottington community group has secured £130,000 worth of funding to transform a dilapidated church.
The Friends of St John’s Tottington gained the cash from Viridor Credits, a not-for-profit organisation which provides funding for projects nationwide.
St John’s Free Church, in Kirklees Street, is a Grade II listed building, and has been home to a congregation of the Free Church of England, a breakaway from the Church of England, since 1867.
The group hopes to redevelop the church and recreate a more appealing space to worship, and provide a meeting place for community groups as well as a theatre venue for Tottington.
Under the plans, the presbytery area of the church would be used by the congregation, and the remaining area used as a community space.
Over the years, the church has fallen into disrepair and the size of the congregation has started to dwindle.
Seeing the potential of the building, the group was set up in 2008 and set about finding funding to improve the church, initially receiving money from English Heritage to deal with roof problems and treat dry rot.
The building is without heating, lighting or plumbing, but this new funding will enable the project to get up and running.
Tottington Amateur Dramatic Society does not have a central base, and quickly showed interest as the building would provide a central base for rehearsals and performances.
Kim Griffiths, secretary and trustee of the Friends group, who is also a member of the Tottington Amateur Dramatic Society, said: “This funding will enable us to do the basic work inside the church, heating, lighting and so on, so that it can be used for community projects and as a base for drama, providing Tottington with its own community based theatre venue.
“We are very excited to be on this leg of a long journey, but we still have a way to go and more funds to raise to complete the project.”
Chairman of the Friends, Bishop John Fenwick, added: “We are a way off completion, but getting there by stealth it seems. Anyone interested in the project, whether to join us as a Friend of St John’s Free Church or to offer support of any kind is more than welcome to join us at our annual general meeting which will take place in early November.”
For more information: visit friendsofstjohns tottington.org.uk
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