£750,000 revamp for St Dionysius church

Visitors take a closer look at the St Dionysius church �750,000 project on display.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Visitors take a closer look at the St Dionysius church �750,000 project on display. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

St Dionysius, Market Harborough’s Grade I listed town centre church, could soon get a subtle £750,000 update.

The work will involve a new kitchen, a disabled lift, a new office and meeting room and further underfloor heating.

Before and after north elevation.

Before and after north elevation.

But the most noticeable aspect of the refurbishment would be the removal of all the old fixed, dark wood pews, replaced by individual chairs to make the church a more flexible space.

Chris Etherington, of the church’s reordering committee which will oversee the work, said: “It’s a town centre church and it’s there for the community.

“We want it to be more user-friendly, more like a community facility, more inviting and encouraging more people to come in.”

Planning permission is needed for some aspects of the work, notably a slight alteration to the exterior of the church on the north side, facing Church Square.

Aerial view of the north extension.

Aerial view of the north extension.

But Chris said: “If everything goes to plan, the work could start after Easter 2018, and finish before Harvest services in October 2018.

“We will have to close the church for short periods during some of the work.”

Plans showing the proposed changes are currently on display in the church.

There will be two public events where people can discuss the scheme with members of the church reordering committee and archtects from Acanthus Clews, who have designed the work.

Internal perspective of enclosed gallery and extension.

Internal perspective of enclosed gallery and extension.

These will be held at the church on Sunday, January 14, from 10am to 2pm and on Wednesday, January 18 from 5pm to 7pm.

The new kitchen would be in a cellar below the north side of the church, resulting in external alterations.

The new meeting room would be on the church’s north balcony, with a glass wall screening it from the rest of the church.

Proposed view of north elevation.

Proposed view of north elevation.