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St. Mary’s Newchurch

New church facilities celebrated

The community of Newchurch in Pendle joined together recently to celebrate works at the village’s four hundred year old church to create a new community space for events and gatherings.

Recent additions to St Mary’s include the creation of a new small kitchen area, toilet and event/gathering space – and are the first significant works to take place at the church for over 200 years.

A special service led by Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Revd Philip North was held at St Mary’s Church to bless the works undertaken so far.

Members of Newchurch in Pendle Parish Council and the local community attended alongside Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson, Conservative MP for Pendle, Government Whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, and former vicar of St Mary’s, Revd Julie Smith.

Bishop Philip, said: “This has been a lovely celebration of what is a beautiful church.

“It’s great to see enhancements being made to make the church more accessible to the local community.

“The new facilities will support St Mary’s in being a church of welcome, service and worship – providing a space where everyone can enjoy each other’s company and share the life of the church.”

St Mary’s became a church in 1544. Despite extensive building works having taken place over the centuries a small part of the first original building remains in the clock tower and the building is Grade II* listed.

Commenting on the works that have taken place, Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson, said: “Due to the age of the church, its congregation and wardens have faced numerous building upkeep challenges over the years.

“However despite being a relatively small group of people, they’ve overcome such obstacles – not least in the culmination of this wonderful project.

“These impressive new facilities are testament to the hard work, dedication and belief of the church community. It’s truly inspiring.”

Over the coming weeks a glass partition wall and entrance way is due to be installed to separate the new event space from the main body of the church building and conclude the building works.

St Mary’s intends to use the new event space and facilities for worship activities, community gatherings and to welcome visitors to the village.

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