Celebration of 180 years at Bolton

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A CHURCH that has been the centre of a community is to be closed - and services transferred to its adjacent hall.

Furlong Road Methodist Church at Bolton is in a bad state of disrepair, and would cost £80,000 to restore fully.

The money isn’t there, said Pastor Jonathan Hood, but the spirit is - and church members now accept they must look forward to conversion of the church hall as a new, multi-purpose church.

To celebrate the 180 years the church has served the Bolton community, there will be a special open weekend in May, for people to enjoy the building for the last time, and share memories.

A loan of £30,000 from the Rotherham and Dearne Methodist Circuit will ensure the church hall can become a new chapel, with free-standing chairs for easy adjustment.

Steward Joyce Kilner said: “Everyone is determined to make a go of this now and are even quite excited about it. We were worried we might lose our church all together, so we have a new lease of life.”

Mr Hood said: “This has been a big challenge but people are quite elated that they can now move forward.”

The open weekend, to which anyone with an interest in the church is invited, will take place from May 18 to 20.

Anyone who has old photographs, service sheets, or items that will evoke memories or others might be interested in, should contact Mr Hood tel. 01709 578453.