Dedication service after £300,000 worth of improvements to St Mary's Church, Sutterton, led by the Bishop of Grantham
More than 1,150 years of church history in Sutterton is set to continue after a £300,000 makeover for the village's oldest building.
A dedication service for St Mary's Church took place last Sunday when members and guests had their first proper look at the results of a two and a half year restoration project.
The work included providing St Mary's with a new kitchen and toilets area, replacement drainage system, church office, refurbished effigies and a watertight roof.
One of the guests at the service was Carl Andrews, director of Nottinghamshire-based Soul Architects, which oversaw the restoration work at St Mary's and an adviser on church restoration projects for Lincoln Diocese.
Mr Andrews said: "The nice thing about is that you can't see where the work has been done because it's very subtle and ever since the project was completed, it has received nothing but positive comments.
"It's always good to see a building being used that provides a much-needed facility for the community and how our interventions are being incorporated into the daily life of the church.
"We're very satisfied with the work and a lot of people have said how much they like it."
Nearly two-thirds of the work was funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of more than £182,000, on top of an initial £25,500 offered to the church by the HLF in September 2016 to prepare a plan for the restoration project.
The Rev Charles Robertson, priest of the Haven Group of Churches which includes St Mary's, said: "The reordering of this dear old church took place at the same time as the life of it continued in its normal vein.
"This is a wonderful declaration of the hard work done by the local congregation and churchwardens in Sutterton.
"St Mary's a well-loved and well-valued church and I think its restoration stands it in good stead for the future."
Last Sunday's dedication service was led by the Bishop of Grantham, the Right Rev Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, and the Rev Sue Hentley, a curate (assistant priest) for the Haven Group of Churches.
Dr Chamberlain said: "It was a great honour to be invited to Sutterton and see the work that has happened which is fantastic.
"I've always felt very welcomed here personally and this restoration work will help the congregration to show hospitality to others."