Hope Baptist Church completes another stage in eventful redevelopment

Church member Isabel Woznicki with site manager Phil Sharp
Church member Isabel Woznicki with site manager Phil Sharp
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The members of Hope Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge have thanked the building team with a big cake and a few cases of beer from a nearby brewery.

The presentation marked the end of a £250,000 repair project supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and a significant step towards turning Hope Chapel into a vibrant community venue.

Although the most visible sign of work has been resetting the stone steps at the main entrance to the chapel, the repair project has fixed the roof and much of the interior of the community rooms.

Church member, Gerard Liston, said: “The team have been incredibly professional in the way they have carried out the work and sensitive to our need for continued use of the building. It will be a pleasure to get the rooms back into full use again.”

The work has been carried out by York-based Heritage Building & Conservation and the restoration programme has been underway for the past five years.

The regeneration has seen some set-backs over the years. The Boxing Day floods left the chapel and all the downstairs rooms under water for the first time since the building was built in 1857.

This happened just a few weeks after the church discovered major problems with work carried out as part of a previous major repair project.

Along with the redevelopments, the church is setting up a Community Interest Company to manage future use and maintenance of the building and is planning events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Rev John Fawcett, the founder of Hope Baptist Church.

An Open Day on April 1 will allow residents and visitors to see for themselves the work-inprogress and to find out more about plans for the future.