Plans that could cost up to £750,000 to redevelop one of the Ribble Valley’s most iconic landmarks – Clitheroe Parish Church – will be put to its congregation this July.
More than 150 people attended a meeting at the church to discuss whether it should be extended on its north side or whether alterations should be made to the church’s interior.
And at a meeting held on Monday, the parochial church council of the church, which is also known as St Mary Magdalene, decided to embark on a period of consultation with the congregation.
Architect Ivan Wilson and members of the PCC will meet members of the congregation to gather ideas and gauge reactions to the plans at a series of events in July.
Costed options have already been prepared by IWA Partnership for the church to comment on.
The church council wants to make the historic church – which dates back to the 15th Century – an even more welcoming place for the community and visitors.
The Rev. Andy Froud, priest-in-charge, said: “We have the huge challenge of how to maintain and enhance this beautiful building, which already attracts visitors from all over the world.
“Our primary concern is to provide a welcoming environment for the growing number of people of all ages who are worshipping with us on a Sunday morning.
“As I keep saying: there is no free option. But I hope that will reassure people that whatever we option we choose to pursue can only be undertaken with the help of the whole church and the community which we serve.”
Mr Froud explained the budget could be anywhere between £500,000 and £750,000, but the full project cost would depend on which of the options it was decided to pursue.
Part of the money for the Grade II listed church project will be raised through the sale of the St Mary’s Centre – on the opposite side of Church Brow – to the Lancaster foundation and from church reserves.
However, the church will be making an appeal to its parishioners for help in raising the rest of the money.
The church has recently finished raising money for covering the costs of repairing the spire, which dates back to 1848, after it fell into disrepair. Remedial work on the spire was completed at Easter.