Re-vamped Cleckheaton church has brighter future

Refurbished Whitechapel Church.  (d632a439)

Refurbished Whitechapel Church. (d632a439)

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A Cleckheaton congregation are celebrating the long-awaited re-furbishment of their place of worship.

Whitchapel Church has been spruced-up to the tune of about £55,000 over the last four months with new heating, wiring and decoration.

Rev Brunel James said: “It will now be always warm, and the new interior looks absolutely super.

“This has been made possible by some generous donations, our own fundraising, and continuing support from our Friends of Whitechapel Church.”

Last decorated in 1961, the Grade II listed building desperately needed to be re-plastered and wiring was such an issue that their insurance company urged them to take action.

After work was done to the church in 2007, and polycarbonate sheets had to be taken off the windows, it has been like “walking into a freezer,” said churchwarden Tom Pinder. “It was rather grubby and grotty,” he added .

Powerful lighting has been installed, along with modern radiators under the pews – these had not been properly worked on since the 1930s.

An annual day of song at the Whitchapel Road church will now become a celebration of the changes.

A Big Whitechapel Sing takes place on Sunday, and features Cleckheaton’s new Community Choir, led by Alison Branson alongside the Whitechapel Church Choir.

Husband and wife duo Beth and Trevor Bowers will appear with folk singer Karl Alexander and residents are invited to sing hymns chosen by local people.

Assistant priest Rev Rachel Cave, who will conduct the event, said: “It has grown in popularity over many years and I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to the historic and re-furbished Whitechapel Church.”

Architects Arctic Associates advised contractors JJ Electrics and Brenmore Electrical, CS Spencer and AG Noble. The church will now work towards preserving the stained glass windows.