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Methodist Church set for make-over

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Newbury Methodist Church wants to carry out repairs and amendments in £500,000 overhaul

NEWBURY Methodist Church in Northbrook Street, a grade II listed building, is set for a substantial makeover if plans currently before West Berkshire Council are approved.

The church has applied for permission to carry out work costing £500,000, which will include £100,000 to repair the dilapidated stonework, improve access to the building and will also include internal rearrangements.

The man overseeing the application for the church, Derek Fisher, said: “The purpose of this application is to allow us to carry out work to maintain the historic nature of this building.”

“The stonework is in a pretty sad state and in need of repair and the back of the church has suffered pretty serious subsidence.”

As for internal improvements, the church is hoping to add a coffee room and a set of double doors at the front of the church, which will allow better access.

There are already double glass doors at the front of the church, but a second set of doors are to be added, leading into the nave.

The church was built in 1838 and renovated in 1898 and 1990. In 1979, a grade II listing prevented a proposal to demolish and rebuild the church.

Mr Fisher said that some of the money for the work will be raised locally, predominantly by the church and that the rest will come from central church funds.

At a Newbury Town Council Planning and Highways committee meeting on Monday, council member Anthony Pick (Con, St Johns), who is also the vice chairman of The Newbury Society welcomed the plans: “The church is one of the jewels of Newbury's heritage. This works is essential and I have no objections to it being carried out.”

The committee endorsed his motion of no objection.

A decision on the application will be taken by January 4.

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