Bishop helps open new church kitchen

Coun Bob Kyle - Mayor of Peterlee; The Right Revd Mark Bryant - Bishop of Jarrow; Neil Seargent - East Durham Partnership Coordinator; Terry Hanlon - Corporate Social Responsibility Manager - Kier Construction; Joanne Benson - Church Warden.

Coun Bob Kyle - Mayor of Peterlee; The Right Revd Mark Bryant - Bishop of Jarrow; Neil Seargent - East Durham Partnership Coordinator; Terry Hanlon - Corporate Social Responsibility Manager - Kier Construction; Joanne Benson - Church Warden.

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A REVAMPED church kitchen has been praised as it was officially unveiled.

The Bishop of Jarrow, Mark Bryant, joined parishioners from St Cuthbert’s in Peterlee, councillors and workers who carried out the improvements gathered for the event.

It follows on from a project which saw the company work with young people to renew the facilities, with new wall and floor tiles put in place, a kitchen donated from the firm installed and redecoration of the room.

The refurbishment will kick-start a £160,000 revamp of the 55-year-old church, which needs a new church roof, church hall roof, toilet upgrade and improved disabled access and facilities.

Kier was joined on site by trainees from the East Durham Partnership (EDP), a charity which provides work experience opportunities and job training.

As well as providing labour, EDP funded the new flooring for the church.

The refit took just one week with suppliers supporting the development, with New Deck providing the flooring and Hewitts donating a hand-basin, while Pyeroy carried out an asbestos survey – all free of charge.

The kitchen will be used by community groups and church-goers to cater for church events and will also bring people together for events.

A faith meal was held to thank the Kier Group for their help, followed by a sermon from the bishop to 60 people.

Church warden Joanne Benson said: “The bishop was most impressed with Kier’s generosity, the workmanship and the opportunity it had given the young people of East Durham Partnership to do some work on a real building – something that would be a resource to the community.

“We are really thrilled with what Kier have done for us.

“It’s going to be a real springboard to be able to welcome the community into our church hall. Without their generosity, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Kier’s regional director, Mike Furze, said: “Social inclusion is extremely important to us at Kier and hopefully these improvements to St Cuthbert’s Church will provide benefits for the local community for many years to come.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham