Christchurch in Needham Market celebrates completion of welcoming new frontage

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172101009

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172101009

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A congregation in Needham Market is celebrating the completion of a new frontage to its High Street church.

The project, which cost around £145,000, has breathed new life into the previously “foreboding” edifice. A new, more inviting entrance has glazed double doors, a large welcome area, a modern kitchenette and accessible toilets.

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172238009

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172238009

The Rev Mary Playford said the work had made a huge difference to the building.

“It has transformed it from a foreboding 1837 frontage, with doors to the side and narrow corridors, to the welcoming building that we now have. Before, it wasn’t very inviting at all,” she said.

“You had to get in through doors at the side of the church – and when you got in, it wasn’t obvious where to go next.

“Many people even thought we weren’t functioning as a place of worship or weren’t open, because of the front of the building.”

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172112009

Needham Market Christchurch celebrate the end of building work and the opening of the new facilities at the church, The Rev Mary Playford with happy cogregation and in the kitchen with Ann Devereux property group conviener. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150916-172112009

Construction work took place between March and May this year using money from donations, fund-raising and a variety of grants.

The minister added that the work had broken down visual barriers between the church and the High Street

“The building is so much more welcoming now,” she said.

“We are a church that wants to serve its community, so hopefully more people will come and visit us now.”

On Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4 Christchurch, a joint Methodist and United Reformed Church, is hosting a weekend of events to celebrate the refit.