A Northumberland church congregation has made a temporary home in a community centre after the ceiling of its Victorian building became unsafe.
Members of St John’s Church, Chevington, are meeting at 10am each Sunday in the nearby Druridge Bay Community Centre while fund-raising gets under way to replace the 11-metre high ceiling of the 1858 Church of St John the Divine.
A fall of plaster from the ceiling during July was repaired but contractors discovered that other areas were potentially unsafe. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) agreed with the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, the Venerable Peter Robinson, that the church should be closed until the ceiling is renewed.
Margaret Weaver, chairman of St John’s PCC, said: “This church building is important not only to those of us who worship there regularly, but also to so many members of the community who have links with it, through baptism, marriage and funerals. It is the church for our community, and we have a duty to preserve it not just for the present but for the generations to come.”
Sunday evening prayer and weekday services continue in a separate room at St John’s.
The new ceiling is expected to cost £45,000. The PCC is planning fund-raising and investigating possible grants.