Church work nearly done

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One of Cleckheaton’s best-loved churches is about to complete a miraculous transformation.

St John’s Church, which embarked on a huge refurbishment project last year, hasseveral events planned to celebrate the end of the work.

Work on the church’s facelift, which began in August last year, cost £300,000.

Plans to remodel the interior of the church, which was built in 1832, included a smaller worship area and a partition wall stretching from the floor to the ceiling.

The partitioned area houses a two-floor community space, which includes a new main hall, meeting room, kitchen, lobby and toilets, as well as a new entrance lobby with sliding glass panel doors.

The vicar of Cleckheaton, the Rev Brunel James, said he was optimistic and excited about the project.

He said: “They have rebuilt parts of the church, and it will be great to start to use it again.

“The church has gone through a big transformation, andthe congregation and I are very happy with the work so far.”

The work has been paid for with several grants from various organisations with links to the church, including the Church and Community Fund and the Veolia Environmental Trust.

The improvements to the church are on track to be finished as expected by Easter this year.

During the work, services have been held in the Church Grange opposite the church, and Mr James said it would be a welcome return home and an opportunity to engage more with the local community.

He said: “We have always been a sociable church that involves the community, but with our new community hall and meeting room, we are hoping to attract more people to use the church.”

The church is also set for a special visit from the Bishop of Wakefield Rt Rev Stephen Platten during its reopening celebrations. The visit will take place on April 21 at 11am.

Mr James added: “We are very happy that we are receiving so much support for the refurbishment.

“It should be an exciting event, and it will be great to see lots of people there.”

The church is also organising a fund-raising appeal on March 3 to fund disabled access to the church. Canon Paul Hackwood from the Church Urban Fund will also be a guest -preacher for services during Easter to help comemmorate work done at the church.