St John the Baptist Church in Spalding is having a massive, £700,000 revamp thanks to a generous legacy that made much of the work possible.
New meeting rooms, a new floor and new lighting, heating and sound will all help make the church more welcoming for 21st century churchgoers.
There will also be a new chapel for small services and quiet prayer, which will include a window celebrating our national saint, St George, and St John’s link with Spalding Parachute Regimental Association.
Vicar Peter Garland said: “A generous legacy from Peter Langford, one of our former worshippers, has meant that we can fund most of the work.
“St John’s has welcomed worshippers in Spalding since 1875. But times have changed.
“We want to reach out to the many newcomers in our large parish, which covers half of Spalding.
“We are doing work to make the church comfortable and suitable for many types of occasions.”
Mr Garland says “the heart of the sacred space” – the choir and sanctuary – will be retained.
Building work started in April and the pews and the old floor have gone.
Mr Garland said the pews are called “20 minute seats” because they become hard after that time, and they will be replaced by comfortable, high quality wooden chairs.
Some 150 chairs have been ordered from Treske and there will be more for big services like weddings, funerals or school celebrations.
Mr Garland said most activities at the Hawthorn Bank church are going ahead as normal, even though builders have taken over.
He said: “Our church school next door uses the church every week for assemblies. Thanks to the school, we are able to hold our 10.45am communion service on Sundays in their hall. Other services are taking place in our church lounge, behind the church, or at our sister church in Deeping St Nicholas.”
Work is expected to finish in mid-October.
The new Bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln, David Court, will attend a celebration on January 18.
Mr Garland said: “It is only six months away and we are excited already about showing everyone what we have to offer.”