Wimnnington new 'temporary chruch' 2013

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undefinedParishioners in Winnington, Northwich, rolled up their sleeves and did the fund-raising and practical work needed to create a new ‘temporary' worship space after St Luke's church showed serious signs of wear and tear. Pictured is the first service in the new worship space – a former library close to Winnington Recreation Club.

The old church, on the corner of Solvay Road and Dyar Terrace, Winnington,  was consecrated in 1897. The building served the area very well but over the years it became worn and structurally impaired.

Also, as little as five years ago St Luke 's was facing closure as the congregation dwindled and finances dried up. But the family of St Luke's doesn't give up easily. A great deal of prayer was offered, efforts to grow new congregations were successful and finances improved again.

The state of the old church building continued to cause concern, however. A study revealed that nearly £1 million would be needed for repairs and a proper upgrade.

As a result the PCC and parishioners decided instead to explore the possibility of closing the church and building a new one. That remains the hope of the parish, the diocese and the Church Commissioners – with the likely fate of the old building being demolition.

But for now, as a result of a decision to move into temporary accommodation, a lovely new worship space has been created on the redundant library site, and much of the refurbishment there was carried out by parishioners themselves.

The old library was in very poor condition, riddled with holes from an archery group which used it for practice sessions. It was also cold, damp and dirty but parishioners felt it had potential and amazingly, a wonderful inviting atmosphere.

Heavy donations were needed – and found – to fund the rent of the old library, and for repairs, architects' fees and new furniture etc. At the beginning of November 2012 groups of parishioners, kitted out with overalls and masks began working there.

No job was too difficult, too dirty or too high. Workers needed feeding so very soon they were being looked after by resident caterers (members of the congregation). Breakfast was followed by coffee and then lunch (usually hot because of the freezing temperatures in the building at that time).

After Christmas the heating and lighting were installed.

The walls were all re-plastered and painted, a toilet and small kitchen constructed, a new door designed and a vestry created.

Vicar Carol Seddon said: “It was always a pleasure to visit the premises. There was laughter, teasing, cups of tea, a lot of hard work and a very special awareness of the presence of the Lord.

“We finally opened on 28 April 2013 with a wonderful service of thanks and celebration. We started the service at the old St Luke’s and then processed down the hill to new St Luke’s. Yes there were some tears but they didn't last. There was certainly a lot of excitement.

“As we entered our new church many of us found it very hard to keep focused. Our new worship space is just beautiful – light modern colours, new autumn-coloured chairs, new mink coloured carpet, new piano and soon – a new altar carved by one of the Readers.

“We know the way ahead will be very challenging but with God's help amazing things are possible.”

Below: the Revd Carol Seddon and new St Luke's worship space