IMPROVING OUR FACILITIES TO SERVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Cleckheaton Methodist Church – combining the former Central and Broomfield churches – has served the community of Cleckheaton for more than 100 years. The current premises are very well used by the playgroup, Rainbows, Brownies & Guides, church youth group, Day Centre, North Kirklees Elderly & Disabled Club, Weight Watchers, line dancing, table tennis, snooker, Friday coffee & lunches, cross stitch group, Trefoil Guild, Lawrence Batley Theatre, charity fundraising events as well Sunday worship and other church activities.
Starting in 2010, we have embarked on an ambitious programme entitled ‘Faith in our Future’ to refurbish our entire premises. As well as bringing all our facilities up to modern standards, we will also create more useable space for activities which we cannot accommodate at present e.g. hosting groups of children from local schools and a support group/toy library for parents of disabled children.
The following work has already been carried out:
The refurbishment of the Wesley Room – the space used by the playgroup and others – was completed in summer 2010 and has been a great success e.g. attendance at Friday coffee has increased significantly and the facilities for playgroup and much better. The cost of this first phase was £51K raised from charitable trusts, Kirklees Council and church sources.
The second phase of work – completed in summer 2012 – began improvements to the rest of the building.
installing glass screens (to make the main activity areas more open and welcoming)
replacing some pews with chairs (to create a flexible space for new midweek activities)
improving the sound system
replacement windows in two meeting rooms
enhancing the upper entrance foyer (including restoration of war memorials)
purchasing new tables
The total cost of this phase was £52K and we have raised this from an appeal to the congregation, special fundraising efforts, support from the Methodist Circuit, local businesses and community grant aid.
In January 2013 the working group reviewed future plans and concluded that it was not feasible to complete the rest of the work in the summer of 2013 as originally hoped, as there is too much work to be completed in the time available and, as we need to put the work out to tender by the end of April, we could not guarantee having all the funding in place in time, and we do not want to agree to having work done if we do not have the monies to be able pay for it.
Phase 3 completed July/August 2013.
This phase included:
all the internal structural work to improve access
providing new ground floor toilets meeting DDA requirements
relocating the snooker room
improving the community hall with new chairs, PA system & extra storage
replacing single-glazed windows with double-glazing
installing a small kitchen facilities upstairs
This work improved facilities for elderly and disabled people using the community hall. It also prepared the way for the creation of a new Mortimer Street entrance, replacing the two current entrances and giving easy access to the whole building.
The budget for Phase 3 was £97K. Some of the proceeds from the sale of Broomfield church were made available to fund this work our programme of fundraising events continued and landfill and other community grants were obtained.
Phase 4 - the refurbishment of the first floor including the worship space
This was completed in spring 2015 at a total cost of £135k. The work included removing the pipe organ and installing a digital instrument. In the space created, Robert Thompsons of Kilburn constructed a new communion rail and the Knaresborough-based artist Shaeron Caton-Rose worked with the church to create 3 stunning floor-to-ceiling banners with a Trinitarian theme linked with key processes in the local woollen industry. The result is a beautiful space for worship which can also be used for performances, meetings and work with local schools.
Phase 5 the Open Door Project
This final phase completes the refurbishment of the ground floor including a new entrance on Mortimer Street (replacing the two entrances we have at present) as well as carrying out improvements to the foyer, creating a furniture store and upgrading the main community room.
This work was implemented in summer 2016 and we are currently seeking to add external signs, noticeboard and illuminated Cross.
Following the original feasibility study our aim has been to provide the modern facilities that our community deserves. We know that we have undertaken a huge task but believe it is our duty to create the best possible facilities for all who currently use our facilities and who we anticipate will use them in the future.
These firms did specialist work as part of Faith in our Future and have put interesting articles in their newsletters:
Rev. Roger Smith