Church project given blessing
Whitley Methodist Church extension met with approval when the president of the Methodist Conference visited while touring projects that benefit the community.
The Rev Ruth Gee, president of the national policymaking body of the Methodist Church in England and Wales, visited the 146-year-old church to see the £100,000 extension and refurbishment project, which will be used as a community hub.
The project began after the congregations of Melksham Forest and Broughton Gifford joined the Whitley congregation following closure of their premises.
The scheme has injected new life into the church and provided people with a village facility as well as a place of worship.
Project manager and property steward Geraldine Mann said: “This is what churches are supposed to be doing, getting into the community, and I hope we achieve that.
“There is nowhere in the village that people can meet regularly, so I hope we have now created a village facility that everyone can use.
“It has taken us two years.
No-one expected a village church with a small membership to raise the money and have the vision to do it but we have done it.”
The church raised £12,000 towards the project, received £15,000 funding from the Hills Group Ltd and was given financial support by the Methodist Church and other charities.
The old Sunday School room has made way for a new kitchen, which will be used to provide a coffee shop, and there is a new foyer, toilet and meeting room.
The builders finish work on the project this week but the painting will be done by church members, who are asking members of the community to help.
Anyone willing to help can contact Geraldine Mann on 01225 706148.
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