Delph Hill Methodist Church to be demolished today
10:55am Monday 21st October 2013 in News
WORK is due to begin today on the demolition of a Bolton Methodist church to make way for a new community church for the north Bolton area.
Delph Hill Methodist in Chorley Old Road will be replaced by a new church which will also merge three other Methodist churches.
The £1.5m project has been four years in the making after church leaders decided to sell off the ageing premises which they say no longer meet the needs of modern worship and community activity.
Superintendent minister, the Rev Jennifer McKenzie, said: “We look forward to the new church. It is a sign of our continued commitment to the people of Bolton, the vision of the local congregation and our delight in and celebration of God’s presence and love.
“We hope it will be a place of welcome and that through its use we may contribute to the building of greater community spirit and the sharing of our faith.”
The money for the scheme has been raised by selling off church premises, local and national grant support from Methodist bodies, the Joseph Rank Trust and the Leigh-Bramwell Trust, as well fundraising by the individual churches.
The new building will be a blend of traditional and modern architectural features, including stone, slate and modern stained glass, which will be home to a multi-purpose church hall with a capacity of 200, meeting rooms and café area.
Dwindling congregation numbers also led to the churches being sold off and now the church’s membership of about 100 is looking forward to moving to the new site.
It is hoped it will provide activities for all age groups and abilities, rooting the church firmly within the community.
The Rev Devadas Matcha, the church’s minister, said: “On behalf of everyone who has worked so hard to make this project happen, I would just like to say how excited we all are that work is actually going to start on the new church.
“As well as an achievement, it is also a challenge to us to help to improve the quality of life for the whole community in the North Bolton area.”
The Astley Bridge site, in Seymour Road, had been run as the Theatre Church after it was converted in 1969 for amateur dramatic societies, theatre groups, dance groups and numerous other community organisations.
It was sold to a group of buyers last year to be converted into a weddings and functions venue while Halliwell Methodist Church was sold to the Life Church.
Until the new church is completed, the congregations will continue to worship at Chorley Old Road Methodist Church, which was bought by Stepping Stones nursery in 2011.
A ceremony to mark the start of construction will be held in January next year, and it is scheduled to open in September.
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