After an investment of nearly £1m and several years of phased repairs and development, Hope Baptist Chapel has reopened its doors.
Plans for the redevelopment of this town centre building began 10 years ago when the building was in a poor state of repair.
As it is one of the one of the few remaining non-conformist Pennine chapels still in use for its original purpose, English Heritage recognised its importance.
Grants from Heritage Lottery Fund have paid for major work on the chapel roof, stonework and interior and other support has been provided to enable refurbishment of the adjacent community rooms.
Completing the repair work was not plain sailing.
Not only was the building flooded on Boxing Day 2015, like many other businesses and homes, but serious problems with past repairs resulted in a litigation case and rectification work.
The church has been camping out in the community rooms, space under the rear gallery and, at one stage, the top room of The White Lion pub. But now the congregation is determined to ensure the chapel space becomes a valuable sanctuary open and relevant to everyone in the town, both residents and visitors.
Apart from Sunday services, the chapel will be open each Tuesday, starting with Morning Meditation and ending with a ‘Still Point’ reflection.