A crowdfunder has been launched to help transform the redundant former St John’s Church in Newsome into a community cafe and event space.
A Community Benefit Society ‘The Newsome Centre’ has set up the crowdfunder to raise almost £18,000 to purchase the building.
The church closed due to dwindling congregations and remaining worshippers joined with Newsome South Methodist Church. The Church of England has declared the building officially closed for public worship and will now sell it off.
The three Newsome Green Party councillors Andrew Cooper, Sue Lee-Richards and Karen Allison are backing the proposal and are members of the board of The Newsome Centre Ltd.
Clr Cooper said: “We are pleased the Church of England has made us this very reasonable offer to purchase the building to ensure it remains a community asset for the people of Newsome.
“We do, however, still have to raise the money. We are now over half way there so we are making some real progress but we have to hit the target by August 1 so we need people to donate what they are able to ensure we save this loved building for the community.”
There is a plan to provide new modern toilet and kitchen facilities in the building and to make the hall available for concerts, wedding receptions, exercise classes, small conferences and a wide range of community events.
Clr Cooper added: “It’s a really exciting project and we have a lot of local support to save the building but also to make it a hub for people to come to and feel at home, meet their neighbours in a safe, shared communal space.”