A CHURCH building has been given a new lease of life after the community rallied round to raise thousands of pounds needed for vital improvements.
The Glebe School, in Stanton Road, Stapenhill, serves as the church hall for nearby St Peter’s Church and hosts community groups as well as serving as a polling station.
The Victorian edifice, originally built as Stapenhill’s first village school, was revamped in the 1980s but needed urgent improvements were needed to its aged electrical installations and fire alarm system, prompting a drive to raise the required cash.
St Peter’s church warden Ray Mills said: “It was clear that a great deal needed to be done to bring the building up to today’s health and safety standards. With the reports we had obtained we knew what needed doing, but like most churches these days, the problem was, how would we fund it?”
The first breakthrough came with a legacy left by Lilian Gough, a long-standing parishioner and lay preacher, while Stapenhill and Brizlincote parish councils each donated £300 and the daily pre-school playgroup which uses the building paid a year’s rent in advance.
A £5,000 grant was received from Burton Consolidated Charity, while Kathy Lamb, who represents the area on Staffordshire County Council, secured £2,940 from the authority’s community fund.
Councillor Lamb said: “When I was told about the problems finding funding I immediately decided that a challenging project such as this was worthy of financial assistance from the fund.
“The excellent facilities that the pre-school provides, coupled with other community uses to be found here, are well deserving of the kind of assistance the council is able to provide.”
Stapenhill vicar Rev Michael Andreyev said: “We are very grateful indeed to Councillor Lamb, the Consolidated Charity and the two parish councils who made this work possible.
“We thank God that we now have a building which is fully compliant with the electrical and fire regulations and is as safe as it can be for everyone, particularly the children and young people who make use of it.”
The building hosts family services every Sunday at 9.30am while on Saturday mornings it hosts the Burton Contact Centre, which allows parents separated from their children to meet them in a safe, neutral environment.