At a time of national cutbacks, which has seen library closures the length and breadth of Britain, one Spen church is doing its bit to nurture the love of reading.
Grove URC in Oxford Road is already used extensively by the community, for kids’ activities, luncheon clubs and social groups.
But recent structural work on the roof of the sanctuary has encouraged members to consider new ways of making it even more available.
Organiser Roger Phillips said: “We thought so much money had been spent on it, we should be using the building more,
“We have seen the need in Gomersal for a library and community hub with public service. The village has one half-hour visit a fortnight from the mobile library at a time when most people can’t access it.
“We sent 400 surveys out to see what people wanted, from IT to refreshments. We’ve had a lot of positive response and have recruited 22 volunteers to run it.
“We want local businesses to put their history on display there. We are hoping to be up and running by the end of February.
“Books are already starting to come in, we want 6,000 initially, to go up to 20,000.”
As a listed building there were restrictions in whatcould be done to change the historic nature of the church building, but one member came up with a plan to build round and over the pews, to create a library framework with meeting space and display areas, computer access, children’s story and play area and light refreshments.
The Rev Alison Termie said: “We hope that by working with local voluntary groups we will create a real heart of community here in the church.”
Church elder Michael Johnson said: “I have lived in Gomersal nearly 50 years and have always thought it should have a community centre.
“ This could well be the start of an answer.”
Anyone with spare books, CDs or DVDs – both children’s and adults – to donate, or who can volunteer a couple of hours a month to help run sessions, or needs a place to meet can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initially the library will be open two mornings a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, but will increase if demand is there.
For more information visit www.urcyorkshire.org.uk/churchfinder/churches/groveurc/ or contact email@example.com.