Church undergoes £350k renovation to create new community space
PUBLISHED: 16:13 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 June 2019
A £350,000 renovation project to create a new community space at a Norfolk church has now been completed.
Swaffham Methodist Church has had significant work done to transform the inside by taking out the old pews to make it a better, more open facility for the community to use.
The four-year project has been organised by the Church Regeneration Group and has been made possible thanks to fundraising activities, support from the Methodist Church and thanks to the generosity of various funding bodies.
Geraldine Allen is part of the group behind the renovation and said: "We have been able to do what we wanted to do. It is a lovely community space which is useful for all sorts of things.
"We have got to adapt to the times, if you remain the same then less people will come to the church.
"If we make it a working space, we are hoping people will come in during the week as well as on Sundays.
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"It's so we have something to offer the community throughout the week and we are going to build on that."
One of the new features is the cinema church, with a drop down screen showing family and faith films for local people.
The church is now open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 12pm for a drop-in coffee and chat.
A specially commissioned mural by Norfolk artist Eddie Goodridge has also been created, which features Swaffham as well as other local towns such as Dereham.
Geraldine Allen added: "He [Mr Goodridge] came in for weeks doing the actual painting, it's fantastic.
"Different groups are coming in and using it. The church can be used in all sorts of different ways."
A special celebration will be held on June 22 at 3pm, however this is invitation only as space in the chapel is limited but the church will also be open for people to view on Friday, June 21 from 10am to 2pm.
Are you involved in a local community project in the Swaffham area? Contact our reporter Daniel Bennett by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.