A new project officer has taken over a scheme which has restored a historic County Durham church and made it more of a community asset.
St Michael and All Angels in Witton Gilbert, North Durham, received Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) finance as part of a £200,000 project to widen use of the 800-year-old church and the adjoining nature reserve.
Work included repairs to the roof, a new toilet, a kitchen/meeting room, flooring and seating as part of the church’s Breathing Space health and well-being project, which involves organisations working with a range of people.
Now, following the departure of the previous project officer, Gillie Boggon has arrived in the post to continue the work.
The project takes advantage of the church’s setting next to a nature reserve and runs art based projects, mindfulness sessions and woodland wellbeing.
People to benefit include homeless people and those with addiction and mental health issues as well as Young people, children and the elderly from the area.
Gillie, who worships at a church in Chester le Street, said: “I am absolutely blessed to have been appointed.
“When I saw the job advertised it was the idea of a Breathing Space that attracted me. As well as working in Breathing Space I felt that this is a chance for me to renew my spirituality and develop my passion for Christ.
“My job is to continue the work that has been done in the first two years of the project and continue to develop activities which nurture both the people who use the church and those within the community.”
Vicar the Reverend Canon Caroline Dick said: “The first two years of the project could not have gone much better. We have built up a good reputation and are well known in the area. We feel that we have laid down solid foundations for future growth.”