Crawley United Reformed Church has completed the first phase of its regeneration project making its building fit for modern needs.
The church in Worth Park Avenue now has a new gold facade to create a presence in the community.
It also has a new main entrance offering full disability access and the sanctuary has been refurbished and made more flexible for hiring out for community activities or business meetings.
Team leader Derek Russell said: “There were a lot of ‘wows’ when people walked in and saw the sanctuary for the first time. Our brief to the architect was to make more like a church and to make a statement. There was a choir practising outside and they were looking at it and asked to come in and see what the inside looked like.
“There was a guy who does a lot of electrics for us. He said you’re a great bunch of people, but it looked like there was nothing in that building. With the new front, that place is still alive.”
To mark the near completion of phase 1, Crawley borough councillor Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill) presented minister, Rev Bridget Banks, with a plaque in recognition of a £5,000 grant from the borough council. It will be hung in the new sanctuary.
Phase two of the project, expected to cost £200,000, will involve improving the toilets and installing an access lift for wheelchair users, new heating, windows and electrics.