Church hall plan given green light

Rev John Bennett and churchwarden Marion Brassington at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding.
Rev John Bennett and churchwarden Marion Brassington at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding.
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A church hall in Spalding seen as a magnet for disorder is to be demolished and replaced by one “suitable for present needs”.

St Mary and St Nicolas Church is to go ahead with a project to build a new hall in The Vista, although a budget and timetable hasn’t been set as yet.

The hall is used by groups including Tulip Pre-school, Connect faith group and 1st Spalding Guides, Brownies and Rainbows.

Rev John Bennett, vicar of St Mary and St Nicolas, said: “We recognise the value of the hall, both for church and much wider use.

“But the hall itself isn’t suitable for present needs because the ceiling is too high and it has an awful lot of steps leading up to it.

“The church council has made the decision, in principle, to look at replacing the hall but we want to give reassurances to the people who use it that it will continue to be open at the moment.”

The hall was within an area covered by a dispersal order secured by police in Spalding, under Operation Warrington, to disperse groups of people intent on causing disorder in the area.

Operaton Warrington ended on October 1 and Rev Bennett said: “Things have improved hugely over the summer and we’ve not had any problems, so I’m hoping the operation has had such a good impact that the situation here will continue.”

Churchwarden Marion Brassington said: “The hall is very valuable because it’s used by youth organisations, for church meetings, weddings and other functions.

“I think it will be exciting to get a hall that’s more updated and fit for purpose.”