A MAJOR refurbishment project taking place at a Harrogate church has seen extensive changes take place.
Although the outside of the Grade II-listed Trinity Methodist Church will remain the same, by the time the congregation returns this summer, the interior will have been completely modernised.
With builders currently on-site, the £650,000 project is going according to plan as church leaders aim to bring the building up to date and make the most of the space.
As part of the work, a new studio has been created at the back of the church under the stained glass window, by removing some of the pews and levelling the floor, which will be used for performances, exhibitions and displays.
The church will have a seating capacity of 500, including the balconies, with the number of seats on the ground floor to be reduced to 150.
The reduction in downstairs seating will create space for a welcoming area which can also be used for workship, concerts and conferences, as well as a large foyer with kitchen and toilets which will be available for community use. Two smaller rooms will be used as a chreche and choir room during services, and will be community meeting rooms at other times.
The project was funded by selling the church hall and cottage last year, just over 130 years since the church officially opened following the laying of the foundation stone in 1876. Part of the reason behind the redevelopment was to save money in the long-run, reducing heating and lighting bills by making the building more efficient.
The last service, which also marked Harvest Sunday, took place in September and since then they have been held at West Park United Reformed Church.
With the congregation preparing to move back in to the building by early July, plans are already being drawn up for a series of events to welcome the community back into the Trinity Road church. As part of the official opening weekend, there will be an open day on Saturday, September 3, while a Christmas tree festival is already being planned for December.
To find out more about the project and the church, visit www.trinityharrogate.org.uk.