This year Christ Church Chatburn is 175 years old. And the church has a little known and rather special historic feature – it was the first church in England to be built in the reign of Queen Victoria.
As it is so old, the church does not have the facilities that are expected in today’s modern lifestyle, and so improvement plans are being drawn up and a development fund appeal has been launched to cover the costs of the anticipated work.
The variety of activity taking place in the church has certainly increased over recent years.
It has been at the forefront of events such as last year’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, social and fun events for children, joyful singing of hymns jointly with the Methodist church, major movies at dedicated film nights and the highly-successful and popular series of live music events held at the church.
This is in addition to the warm and inviting services, key lifetime events of births, marriages and deaths, and family events attracting people of all ages.
Several commemorative events are being planned to celebrate this year’s milestone and at the same time to raise money for the new Development Fund Appeal.
Christ Church Chatburn is one of the most beautiful and well-kept Victorian churches in the county, due in no small part to the committed local church community from Chatburn and the surrounding area who keep it in the condition it has enjoyed in the past 175 years. To do this costs more than £500 each week.
Canon Rodney Nicholson, priest-in-charge at Chatburn commented: “The church plays an increasingly active and important role of the community and, like most organisations, it needs money to survive and to meet the developing needs.
“There can be many charitable requests on us today, but I would encourage any help that can be given to maintain and develop the church’s significant role at the heart of the community.
“Both the development fund appeal and regular giving towards the upkeep are meaningful local causes with quite significant heritage values for this Grade Two listed building.
“While proceeds from the Chatburn music events and other activities are allocated to the development fund, further support would be appreciated through direct donations to the fund, sponsorship of the music events or arrangements for standing orders on a regular basis.”
• For anyone wanting to support the new fund, arrangements can be made initially by contacting Rodney Nicholson on 01200 458019. News of celebration events will be published in this newspaper.