Amount awarded £650.
Located in Watley’s End in the village of Winterbourne near Bristol, it’s one of the oldest Methodist churches in the area.
John Welsey, one of the founders of Methodism, laid the church’s foundation stone and even preached there.
Fortunately, despite its historic past, the church is not subject to any conservation orders making the project much easier to implement, says Reverend Pearl Luxon.
The idea was to alter and extend the dais by taking out choir pews, the first row of congregation pews and moving the communion rail.
Pearl says: “We didn’t know what we would uncover when we altered the dais. In fact, we found incredible amounts of woodworm, so we would have to have done some work at some point anyway.
“The condition of the wood meant we weren’t able to use as much of it to create additional wall panelling as we would have liked. Instead, we had to use new wood and stain it.
“We also had to fumigate the area, replace microphone cables, move piping and some radiators, so it ended up being quite a big job.”
Pearl says: “We received a £650 grant through the Methodist Insurance Fund towards the work and the church looks absolutely beautiful now.
“There’s so much more flexible space that we can use for all-age worship, communion and community events. We’ve also added a new preacher’s lectern for people who are unable to use our traditional pulpit either for health reasons, or because they prefer to be nearer to the congregation.”