A CONGREGATION is hoping to raise the roof with an appeal to make their building bigger and better for generations to come.
Seaham Methodist Church, in Tempest Road, is looking to raise £150,000 through events and grant applications to give the building a new look and the community a better place to hold their celebrations and activities.
The 1970s building lacks the space to accommodate the groups which use its two small community rooms, and the church now hopes to build on its success and expand its services.
Gradon Architecture has put together a vision of how the church could look as it pushes on with the planning application proposal to Durham County Council.
So far, £7,000 has been raised for the fund, with events including a sponsored bounce and coffee mornings among those held to date.
Reverend Gill McBride, a minister at the church, said: “The congregation is quite excited about it because it will give us better facilities in the future.
“It is scary having to raise so much money, but when it’s finished it will be amazing.”
She added that running many of the church’s activities out of one room has been an increasing challenge and said she was pleased with the designs, which members hope will give it a “wow factor inside and out”.
Gradon Architecture says its proposals are set to change the style of the building to make it feel more like a welcoming community hub and place of worship.
Graham McDarby, design director at Gradon, said: “Despite being a real community asset, Seaham Methodist Church’s unconventional 1970s design and layout has meant that it has not been able to function as it was intended for some time.
“To overcome these challenges, we presented the church with a series of conceptual designs of how we could reinvigorate the church for the future.
“Our final design submission has considered all aspects of the project from current budget to the church’s potential growth. We believe that our vision will help to make Seaham Methodist Church sustainable for the future.”
Having received a grant from the Methodist Church, if approved the church must now raise enough money for the project to go ahead.
Rev McBride added: “Although we still have a way to go before we raise the money we need to complete this project, the community’s support has already been absolutely fantastic.”