Key to the door: Central Methodist £300,000 project completed

CONGRATULATIONS flowed in from members of the public when Central Methodist Church, Todmorden, received the "key of the door" following a major refurbishment scheme.

Many people took the opportunity of viewing the results of the 300,000 - plus project which has transformed the ground floor of the century old building - and the general verdict has been very favourable.

"Many visitors have made a point of congratulating the church on the transformation," said a spokesman for the Church Council. "It's been very heart-warming."

The celebrations began last Friday evening when senior steward Mrs Maureen Greenwood received the ceremonial key from the chief architect Mr Richard Storah, who designed the scheme. One visitor to the celebrations, Miss Teresa Nixon, records manager for the West Yorkshire Archive Service, was so impressed by the scheme that she said she would be very happy to store documents at the record office. The architects said they would be willing to provide the information.

A re-dedication of the premises was conducted by the Reverend Peter Whittaker, chairman of the West Yorkshire District of the Methodist Church.

Congratulations were expressed to the Church Council for its "wonderful achievement" by the Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor David O'Neill, and the Todmorden Town Mayor, Councillor Julie Stansfield.

There were also special tributes from the Reverend Canon Owen Page, Vicar of Todmorden, Mr Hugh Stansfield representative of the Christian Fellowship in Todmorden and the Reverend Tony Buglass, Superintendent Minister of the Upper Calder Valley Methodist Circuit.

After the service a clock was presented to Mr Norman Lane of Sowerby Bridge who had advised and supported the church throughout many years of planning.

There was a surprise presentation to the Minister, the Rev Robbie Bowen and his wife Ruth for their determined efforts to get the scheme off the ground. The minister received a book token and a bouquet went to his wife.

A bouquet of flowers was also presented to Mrs Pamela Booth, former senior steward and a basket of fruit to the organist, Mrs Margaret Stansfield for their devoted services.

The celebrations continue on Saturday, October 11, when a Grand Re-opening ceremony will be performed by 100-year-old Miss Agnes Williams and the children from Live@915.