Worshippers have banded together to buy a church to save it from closure and preserve it for future generations.
The Friends of St Faith’s even wrote to the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury in a bid to save their late 19th century church from closure after congregation numbers dwindled.
In 2012 the congregation were offered a reprieve when property investor Caroline Foster spent more than £100,000 purchasing the Belper Lane End place of worship and planned to turn it into a community centre.
Now, an ownership committee of 15 people has bought the church back from Mrs Foster and is planning services, including a Christening in June.
Gary Spendlove, chairman of the Friends’ group, said: “I have been attending services from the age of two. My parents and grandparents attended services here. It’s apersonal issue – I would love my children to go.
“There’s a lot of history to the church and the purchase has created a lot of excitement in the village.”
St Faith’s, which was built in 1891, was a mission church where lay preachers could perform services. After it was closed in 2005, Christ Church Belper Parochial Church Council applied for permission to turn it into a house.