Churchgoers at Fulwood Methodists are in the mood for a celebration, having raised more than £1m to complete redevelopment works.
Since former minister Stephen Poxon came up with a vision for extending the mission of the church 14 years ago, a fundraising team has been working to repay loans for a complete layout redesign.
A new entrance has been built, the chancel has been moved, there are new toilet and kitchen areas, and the Watling Street Road site is now disabled access friendly.
Church member Veronica Frost said: “It’s really open and welcoming now, and the layout allows for different user groups to be in different rooms at the same time.”
After the receipt of bequests, grants from the Methodist church and others sources, another £600,000 has been raised through sponsored events, sales, fashion shows and a flower festival.
A percentage of the funds has also been donated to other local and national charities.
Veronica added: “It’s a great relief to have raised the money, at one point I didn’t think we ever would. Now it’s a joy to see the changes.”
Current Minister, Revd Malcolm Hickox, said: “We have seen a dramatic increase in the outreach activities of the church and the use of the building by members of the local community.”
He added: “Even the worship life of the church has been enhanced with the new premises offering opportunities for café style worship and more informal services.”
The Willow Grove coffee area is open to members of the public on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and a toddler club runs on Fridays.
Plans are now in place for an all-age celebration to coincide with the Harvest Festival.