Methodist church’s new look

The newly  refurbished Birstall Methodist Church. (d27041207)

The newly refurbished Birstall Methodist Church. (d27041207)

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It’S been at least 20 years in the making, but the redesigning of Birstall Methodist Church is now half way to completion.

Phase one of a project to move the church into one half of its building in Chapel Lane has finished. It boasts a new worship room, kitchen, vestry, toilets and meeting room.

The plan for phase two is to completely separate the Grade II listed building into two halves, and sell the former worship area, known as the Sunday school building.

The current church side of the building, which used to be Birstall Pre-School, will also be extended to create a bigger worship area.

The Rev Roger Smith said the site had been used for worship since 1745, when John Nelson brought the Methodist movement to the north. It is one of the oldest Methodist churches in the country.

The Sunday school building was built in 1826, and a new church was built in 1886.

The refurbishment has cost £50,000 – funding which has been coming in for the past 20 years from donations, bequests, gifts and fundraising.

Church treasurer Jenny King said: “It’s been hard work fundraising for a lot of it. We’ve been fundraising for this project particularly for the last six years.

“But believe me it’s worth it. It’s lovely in here. It’s a fantastic feeling that we have something this good to offer to the people of Birstall.”

To celebrate the church’s new look, an afternoon tea will be held on May 12 for the public and contractors involved in the project.