CARING residents have launched a campaign to raise thousands of pounds to transform an old Chesterfield church building into their own community centre.
The Anglican Church of the Ascension, on Cuttholme Road, Loundsley Green, is no longer used for services, as Anglicans and Methodists now meet at Loundsley Green Church, on Pennine Way.
But Loundsley Green Community Trust hopes to take over the running of the Diocese of Derby’s building before any decision to dispose of it is made, to ensure groups have a regular meeting place and a facility for activities.
Trust member Andy Creswell said: “The hall is currently used by cubs, scouts and brownies as well as many other local groups. It would be a tragic loss if it were to close.”
The Trust wants to run the church hall and relieve the Diocese of Derby of running costs and aims to raise money for improvements so it can be hired out.
Trust chairman Simon Redding said: “There is no other building like this in the area. We really hope our plans get the go ahead.”
The trust presented its plan to the Diocese of Derby, which is considering the proposals, and trustees hope to take over the development of the centre by spring.
Rev Stanley Monkhouse, Loundsley Green Anglican vicar, said: “If the community comes up with a scheme to use the building, we would have to reconsider its future.”
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is due to meet the trust at the centre tomorrow. Those wishing to help can call Mr Redding on (01246) 204223 or secretary Paul Davies on (01246) 568346.