£330k church refurbishment now complete

Peter Knibbs, Vicar at St Mary's Church.
Peter Knibbs, Vicar at St Mary's Church.

A borough church has undergone extensive renovations following a £330,000 investment.

St Mary’s Church on Claremont Gardens in Whitley Bay, has completed building work including the installation of an innovative new lighting scheme adaptable to suit the changing seasons with different ambient light options, a new sound system with hearing loop and a complete re-wire upgrade.

The refurbished entrance with decorated floor to ceiling glass panels allows for beautiful views into the church interior highlighting the central importance of the font for Baptisms and beyond to the Nave Altar, used for weekly communions.

New stone flooring surrounds both, complimented by polished wood and new carpeting.

This final phase of work has also seen a new kitchen installed, fully accessible toilets, a refurbished office and the creation of a multi-purpose ‘gathering space’ for meetings and ‘Godly Play’ activities with children. As well as a new vestry for small groups to meet for prayers or counselling.

The extensive work has been funded by individual donations, a portfolio of grant applications and the sale of a property owned in part by the Church.

Peter Knibbs, Vicar at St Mary’s Church, said: “It is 30 years since St Mary’s Church was last painted so the scale of the refurbishment is hugely significant to maintain our weekly morning prayer and Eucharist services, plus enable community wide activities.

“We look forward to welcoming all into St Mary’s and extend an invite to our re-dedication of the refurbished church ”

On Thursday, October 15, at 7.30pm, there will be a blessing and dedication lead by Bishop Frank White, in a re-dedication of the refurbished Church Eucharist service.

A ‘Back to Church Sunday’ service will be held at 10am on Sunday, October 18.