Fareham community's joy as £500k church facelift is completed

THE bells of Fareham's Holy Trinity Church can ring out once more after a £500,000 regeneration project was completed.

Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 6:00 am
From left, John Holliday, churchwardens Sheila Holliday and Daphne Armstrong and the Rev Sally Davenport Picture: Paul Jacobs (160241-6)

Last night saw the community gather inside the West Street site to mark the end of Holy Trinity’s High Time project.

It comes after years of hard work to overhaul the building’s aging clock tower and broken Victorian clock – which hadn’t worked since August 2011.

The Rev Sally Davenport, who led the project, said she was relieved it had finally been completed.

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‘The building is now safe for the next generation which is fantastic,’ she said.

The huge fundraising effort was launched in 2011, when dangerous structural problems were first noticed.

At Christmas 2013 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a £500,000 grant backing the scheme.

Refurbishment began in April 2015.

Along with the clock, the money also paid for a revamp of the church’s hall – which now has new catering facilities and a more welcoming entrance – of the roof and Holy Trinity’s two bells.

However, Mrs Davenport said this was only the beginning of things to come.

‘We have got a lot more planned to improve the church, it’s a really exciting time,’ she added.

‘We’re planning on extending the welcome area and making the church even brighter.’

Guests invited to the celebration included Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, councillors, commander of HMS Collingwood Captain Andy Jordan and Hampshire’s Lord Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson.

Fareham Borough Council leader Seán Woodward added he was looking forward to the bells being rung at the church’s annual Remembrance Sunday service.

‘This church is very much a part of the community. Lots of people turn out for remembrance and it will be great to hear the bells again,’ he said.