A PERFECT marriage of old and new has helped bring facilities at a historic Buxton church into the 21st century.
The future is certainly brighter at Trinity Church, on Hardwick Mount, following the completion of a £500,000 building renovation project.
A new extension, which includes a new kitchen, toilet block and entrance area, has been constructed, underfloor heating has been attached to the 138-year-old church building, while changes have been made to create more space in the main seating area.
There has also been improvements to disabled access, making facilities more easily accessible.
The project, titled ‘Building for Growth’, has been five years in the making, and was funded by donations from generous parishioners and friends.
“The church building is quite old and the facilities we had were not really fit for purpose in 21st century Britain, so we wanted to make sure we had adequate facilities, as well as space for when the church numbers grow,” explained the project’s manager Steve Short, himself a church member.
“Our members have bought into the church’s vision and donated generously and sacrificially.
“While we wanted to have a modern facility, it also had to be built onto an existing building, so that had to be done sensitively – in effect a marriage of old and new.
“In some senses it wasn’t a large job, but in another sense it was tricky working with such an old structure which is also situated in a conservation area.”
Not everything has been plain sailing, however, as the project has had to overcome various hurdles, not least the discovery of asbestos, and perhaps more significantly the discovery by structural engineers that the condition of the water-damaged church tower was worse than first thought, delaying the project while this was rectified.
The main renovation work eventually got underway in April and was completed around November, allowing the church to throw open its doors to the public and show-off their modernised facilities during an open day earlier this month.
“We have also needed to bear in mind the fact that the church is there to benefit the local community as well,” explained Steve.
He added: “The feeling now is that we have a really good building, one which is fit for purpose and enables us to do what the church exists for more effectively.”