By Marianne Mooney
£580,000 is to be spent on the church of the Nazarene in Gleadless Valley, to bring the building back from the brink of collapse.
Many locals thought the building was abandoned due to it being on derelict land and the outer building deratings, which was one of the reasons for the urgent renovations that started in November 2015.
The church building which is located on Fitzroy Road, it was in such dire need of a revamp to such an extent that it still had old privies, bricked up at the back of the church.
As the general area is the fifth bottom for deprivation, which is one of the church is a vital part of the community that needed to be maintained as Sophie Peel-Yates comments on.
Sophie Peel-Yates, the chair of the church said “There is such a need for a social area for the community, which is why the renovation is so important.”
The church closed to allow the £580,000 worth of renovations to take place, which was funded by the local community, sales of properties and government grants.
While the community had been raising the money for over ten years, they were still short of the much need target £468,000.
As a way to cover the extra costs, the board was granted a loan of £100,000 from the Nazarene District which is planned to be paid back over ten years.
The money is being spent on improving disabled access, building new disabled toilets on both floors, fit a lift and a ramp, making two extra rooms down stairs, rewire and stop leaks as well as other essentials.
Sophie Peel-Yates said “We knew if we didn’t do anything the church would fall into despair like many others in Sheffield, we couldn’t let that happen.”
The church was a centre for kids clubs, lunch clubs and as well as a youth club, and will be able to cater for many more as a result of the renovations.
It also was the centre for the Workers Education Association, until conditions within the church were too bad for the WEA to continue using it.
After the opening in July, the church is hoping to be able to be a facility that the WEA can use again and also expand their impact to the area.
The church is also considering a way they could open a food bank for the area, and be able to rent out their sports hall to dance schools, something they’ve already had interest in.