Beeston Methodist Church is planning a £1.6m modernisation scheme to enable it to respond better to community needs in the 21st century.
The distinctive 120-year building on Chilwell Road is already used by hundreds of people a week, who attend a wide range of church and community activities.
After years deliberating over various redevelopment options, the church proposes a programme of essential work to maintain the fabric of the building for the next few decades. Re-slating and insulating the church roof, double glazing windows and installing a new heating system will reduce heating bills.
BMC, which already holds the Eco Church Bronze Award, is committed to making the building as eco-friendly as possible. It is investigating the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the hall.
Pews will be removed and the church floor levelled. This will improve accessibility for those with mobility problems, create a more flexible sanctuary space for worship and assist the many community groups who use the premises for concerts and events.
The impressive pipe organ, which was presented to the church when it was built in 1902, will undergo a complete overhaul, including the installation of new bellows.
During consultations with the congregation, many said they wished the church to be made lighter and brighter. This will be achieved by installing new, low energy lighting and removing the side balconies to fully reveal the stained glass windows.
In keeping with a distinctive building sited in a conservation area, the church frontage will be retained. Work will start soon on a separate scheme to carry out essential repairs on the 110ft spire.
The cost of the improvements will be largely met from the money received from the sale of church buildings. In 2014 Chilwell Road Methodist Church was renamed Beeston Methodist Church, bringing together the congregations of four Methodist churches in the area, who have worshipped together since Easter, 2016.
Chris Bridges, chair of the BMC Redevelopment Group, said: “When the first round of consultations was undertaken in the summer of 2017, people said they would like the refurbished building to be light, bright and welcoming with a flexible worship area.
“In the past few years we have made real progress in coming together as a single church. But many recognise the need for improved facilities. An updated church will enable BMC to welcome and serve future generations of people to put us at the heart of the community.”
The church has already raised nearly two thirds of the £200,000 target set to show its commitment to the Mission Possible project – thanks to generous gifts from members and by holding a series of fundraising events.
Forthcoming fundraisers at the church include an organ recital by Paul Hale at 3pm on Sunday, June 12 and a craft fair from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, October 15. To book a stall, which costs £10, contact the church office on 0115 9431164 or email firstname.lastname@example.org