Worship in Community Centre while church gears up to replace Victorian ceiling
A Northumberland church congregation has made a temporary home in a community centre after the ceiling of its Victorian building became unsafe.
Members of St John’s Church, Chevington, are meeting at 10.00am each Sunday in the nearby Druridge Bay Community Centre at Hadston’s shopping precinct while fundraising gets under way to replace the 11-metre high ceiling of the 1858 Church of St John the Divine.
A fall of plaster from the ceiling during July was repaired but contractors discovered that other areas were potentially unsafe, and so the Parochial Church Council (PCC) agreed with the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, the Venerable Peter Robinson, that the church should be closed until the ceiling is completely renewed using modern, thermally-efficient plasterboard.
Margaret Weaver, Chair of St John’s PCC, said, “This church building is important not only to those of us who worship there regularly, but also to so many members of the community who have links with it, through baptism, marriage and funerals.
“It is the church for our community, and we have a duty to preserve it not just for the present but for the generations to come,” she added.
Sunday Evening Prayer and weekday services continue to take place in the separate room at St John’s, while the Sunday morning congregation is enjoying the novelty of its new temporary home.
“St John’s Church is its people, and even without our building we will continue to support the community and to maintain all our normal services,” said Mrs Weaver.
It is expected that the replacement ceiling at St John’s will cost approximately £45,000, and the PCC is planning a fundraising campaign and investigating possible sources of grants.
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