Break-in underway as church opens up old entrance - The Rugby Observer

Break-in underway as church opens up old entrance

Rugby Editorial 4th May, 2019   0

A BREAK-in is underway at a Clifton Road church – masterminded by its own vicar!

Work has begun to reopen the original front door to St Peter and St John’s Church, which has been blocked up since 1984 when a fire destroyed the original church hall.

It is the next stage of the church’s Project Welcome, a campaign launched in 2015 to re-configure the building as a community resource.

Rev Sheila Bridge said the bricked up door gives people the wrong message, and too few people are aware of the Clifton Road church’s current entrance because it is not visible from the main road.

She said: “This is the only community building in this part of Rugby. We have a great community space that we know people would like to make better use of – but the entrance is unwelcoming.

She said the church had received plenty of support in its campaign.

She added: “Many local people have fond memories of the church before the fire, so it’s very fitting that we should mark this by re-positioning the church at the heart of the community, which is where it should be.

Gerald and Diana King by the old front door on their wedding day in 1960. The couple still sing in the choir at St Peter and St John’s Church.

“Many people have old family photos of weddings or christenings taken on the steps into church, but it’s not just about memories,” she said.

“The bricked up entrance has given the impression that we are closed, whereas in fact we are a very active and useful resource for our local community.”

Last year, the church installed new toilets thanks to a £45,000 grant from WREN.

The current stage of improvements, funded by a £75,000 grant from Veolia Environmental Trust, also include internal rearrangements and new storage facilities as well as new paths around the outside of the building to improve disabled access.

The work is being carried out by local contractor Symons and is scheduled to be finished by the end of June.

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