Church's ambitious £500,000 project to transform in to concert and exhibition centre

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A church has launched a £500,000 refurbishment project to transform the church into a modern concert arena.

Chorley United Reformed Church is embarking on the ambitious refurbishment, which will see the Hollinshead Street venue create a multi-purpose, accessible church.

Chorley United Reformed Church's community minister Andrew Littlejohns and Reverend Martin Whiffen (Image: submit)

Chorley United Reformed Church's community minister Andrew Littlejohns and Reverend Martin Whiffen (Image: submit)

It would involve removing the pews, levelling the floor and creating a new entrance.

The project will also include new lighting, heating, 360-degree audio-visual provision and flexible staging.

Andy Littlejohns, the church’s community minister, said: “I am really excited about what we are doing.

"This will give us space to develop our work with the community and to build on our already successful projects like Chorley Repair Café and Open Kitchen.”

community minister Andrew Littlejohns and Reverend Martin Whiffen (Image: submit)

community minister Andrew Littlejohns and Reverend Martin Whiffen (Image: submit)

The refurbished building will be used for worship on Sundays but will also be available for community groups and events such as exhibitions and concerts.

Andy added: “The church is already a major venue for Chorley Live, but the flexible staging and AV provision will allow us to host drama, choirs, poetry readings and all kinds of concerts from classical to rock”.

The church will be holding a Service of Thanksgiving and Renewal at 6pm on Tuesday, December 31 as an opportunity to say farewell to the church in its current form and to offer thanks for all the important events that have taken place there.

The Reverend Martin Whiffen said: “It will be a sad moment when we say to goodbye to the building as we have known it, but we are really excited about worshipping in the re-ordered church.

"If anyone wants to join us for a last look at building before refurbishment, they will be very welcome to join us on December 31."

While building works are taking place, all existing church and community groups will continue to meet as usual in the church halls.

Sunday services will be held in the church’s Main Hall.

The work is expected to be completed by early May.