A village church is preparing to re-open after a total transformation at the hands of its parishioners.
Pews, the Sanctuary and the communion rail at Longton Methodist Church have all been taken out, and the pulpit has been moved in a bid to boost attendance.
The work, which has also included building toilet facilities at the church in Marsh Lane, was the vision of former minister, Rev Paul Spencer, who died one month after the changes were agreed by members in January.
Malcolm Wright, circuit steward, said: “We were minister-less, but we set out to follow what he had started.
“Things like getting rid of the pews have been controversial, but we can’t do anything with the building unless we have a flexible area.
“Ministers these days are also happier to be down with the people.”
He added: “The church was being used for two hours on a Sunday, for the odd coffee morning and occasional choir performance.
“It was under-used and empty, and we looked at what could do.
“At the Covenant service in January all members signed up to changing the church and becoming more a part of the community.
“As well as holding church services, we want the building to be used for things like the Longton fete, by the council, and by other groups in the community.”
The work has been completed by members of the congregation and clergy. It has been paid for by church fundraising and grants.
An open day for the community will be held on Saturday, November 23, and a rededication service will be led by Rev Paul Davies, chair of the Lancashire Methodist Circuit, on Sunday, November 24 at 6.30pm.