Kath and David Spashett with Gisele Hepper and Eileen Jackson in the newly-installed kitchen.

A CHURCH took a further step along its ambitious journey towards being a community hub fit for purpose.
St Matthew’s Church in Leyburn moved much further towards converting its traditional interior into a flexible and more functional space. Following completion of its car park in November, visitors can access the building much easier. Now with the installation of a refurbished kitchen area and a toilet, the church’s aim of becoming capable of hosting a wide range of community events and activities has gone closer to reaching fruition.
Whilst church funds paid for the cost of the kitchen and toilet; the Rev Chris Lawton who served as curate until last year along with his family made a poignant financial gesture, twinning the toilet with a village in Guatemala. A donation of £60 via the Tear Fund ensures those in desperate poverty have access to a proper latrine and clean water.
Led by the hard-working Vicar of St Matthew’s, Rev Hepper, his team of volunteers still have much work to do ensuring the full range of internal modifications and exterior additions are completed.
He said: “We are delighted that the new kitchen and toilet will make us a place of hospitality.
“We intend to do all we can towards ensuring St. Matthew’s church is open and welcoming to the whole community.”

This article appeared in the Darlington & Stockton Times, 2nd February 2018

“The Church of England is clear about being the church for the people – at the heart of a community, providing public space as well as bringing people together for worship. This bold and imaginative project deserves unreserved support as it looks to the next century.”
The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines
Bishop of Leeds