The members of East Leake Baptist Church have completed a £136,000 refurbishment of their grade II listed chapel, part of which dates back to 1756. The renovation has created a large meeting space in the village that church members hope will be used by a wide variety of community groups.
An open day on Saturday 11 September to celebrate completion of the six-year project was attended by Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards and members of the public.
The day coincided with the Ride and Stride fundraising event for the Nottingham Historic Churches Trust in which walkers and cyclists are sponsored to visit historic church buildings in the county.
“We are a small church. The work to obtain the required listed building consents and then raise sufficient funds was challenging, and then Covid-19 set us back by several months, but we are absolutely delighted with the final result,” said church deacon Ian Goldby.
“The refurbishment has been completed in a way that is very much sympathetic to the original building, preserving an important part of our heritage and making it fit for the 21st century. We now want to see the building in constant use and to become a hub for the local community.”
A major part of the work was installation of underfloor heating to replace a large-bore pipe system, which had become increasingly leaky and unreliable. The former pipes had run along the step up to a central ‘pew platform’ and had obstructed earlier plans to level the floor. The new step-free floor has created a large, safe area suitable for a wide range of activities.
In addition to the chapel works, the old kitchen has been completely refitted, with facilities for preparing hot and cold food and drinks.
The work was funded by direct giving by the church members and the generosity of the following organisations: The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Beatrice Laing Trust, The Congregational and General Charitable Trust, East Midlands Airport Community Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust, The Rank Foundation, and Rushcliffe Borough Council.