Chorley United Reformed Church finds a new home

Artist's impressions of what could be the new Chorley United Reformed Church
Artist's impressions of what could be the new Chorley United Reformed Church
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A church in Chorley which has been on the hunt for a bigger space has finally found a new home.

The site in Friday Street will allow Chorley United Reformed Church to fulfil its ambitions for its community outreach work.

Artist's impressions of what could be the new Chorley United Reformed Church

Artist's impressions of what could be the new Chorley United Reformed Church

It will also free up parking space on Hollinshead Street, which the Church now sits, for shoppers to the market town’s much-anticipated Market Walk development.

Minister, the Rev Martin Whiffen, said: “We have been looking into various options for a number of years now and I believe we have found the right site for us on Friday Street.

“We have been talking to the council about a land swap and building a new church which will cut our costs considerably enabling us to expand our outreach work such as wrap around care for the elderly and vulnerable, healthy eating courses, IT literacy sessions and much more.”

Chorley United Reformed Church had commissioned a report on how to develop its future ambitions to extend the services it offers and had made the decision that it needed a new church building with additional facilities for its expanding outreach programme.

If planning permission for the build goes ahead the scheme will see the current Church, which is falling to pieces, torn down to make way for 30 car parking spaces.

The church congregation could move as early as next Easter with the council’s Bengal Street offices a potential temporary home until the new church is built.

Mr Whiffen said: “We’re looking forward to progressing this move, but I can reassure everyone that we will be taking the important parts of the building with us, such as the stained glass and war memorials and we plan to create a new memorial garden at the new church so for those who wish. Ashes of their loved ones will be reverently disinterred and then reinterred in the new garden as part of a Service of Dedication.”

The church and the council are now working through a detailed design process in preparation for submitting a planning application.

Leader of Chorley Council councillor Alistair Bradley said: “Their current site is an ideal one for us. It is a prime area within our town centre and although there won’t be any gain in spaces as the new site will take up spaces on Friday Street - it moves those spaces to within a 30 second walk of the Market Walk development.

“The church looked at a number of sites and they have chosen Friday Street because it meets their criteria of visibility, being close to the town centre and in an area undergoing development and modernisation.”