Excited members of Spalding’s main Methodist church are seeing their vision of it as a 21st century community hub turn into reality this week.
Work has started at Broad Street Methodist Church as part of a £750,000 project to bring it up to date for charities and community groups to use.
The Vision21 project is being done in six phases, starting with roof repairs, high level stonework and improvements to drainage at the church which opened in 1887.
Lu Chappell, a church leadership team member, said: “Work started on phase one of the project on Monday and we’re hoping this part of it will be finished by the beginning of November.
“Then we’ll decide what to do about the next stage which is repairs to the inside of the church.
“We’ve had pledges of about £80,000 from our members towards the work and we’ve raised additional funds of more than £330,000.”
The funds include an English Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £68,000 for roof repairs and stonework so that the church can continue to be used by groups including Age UK, Mencap, a fitness group for the over 60s and the Space4U counselling group.
Other phases of the project include a new lounge at the back of the church, replacing most of the existing pews with chairs to allow greater flexibility in hosting events, a modernised kitchen and new entrance.
Rev Margaret Mwailu, church minister, said: “One of my greatest wishes is to see the church reaching out to people because we can’t just wait for them to come to us.
“Vision21 is challenging and exciting in equal measure for me, as well as for the members of our church.”