A Whitchurch church is set to undergo huge changes after raising enough money to improve disability access.

St John’s Methodist Church, in St John’s Street, has raised the £108,000 needed to improve access at the church, through parishioners’ fundraising and grants.

Jim Walwyn, a member of the church for a decade and chairman of the church refurbishment group, says the work was very much needed to bring it into the 21st century.

“Originally, we tried to do a total refurbishment of the church,” said Jim.

“But it was decided that we split the project into two stages so the first one is the disability access.

“We’re breaking the law not having disabled access. There’s too many steps for people who have disabilities to get up and people with pushchairs can’t get up either.

“Even the undertakers struggle to get the coffins up the steps.”

Jim added that the members have taken to the fundraising well and have raised a lot through concerts and showing a bit of initiative.

He added: “The project will cost £108,000 and most of that has come through fundraising.

“There will be money we’re receiving from a grant through a group called Circuit and we’re hoping that’s going to be £70,000.

“But we’ve raised money by having a project called Talents. We gave people in the church £10 and asked to see if they could multiply it.

“As a result, we raised more than £8,000 and that’s just over the summer, which is absolutely fantastic.

“We’re hoping that shortly we can start building and the fundraising is still going on. We have two more concerts to come including the town band on September 23.”

n If anyone wants to match the funding or donate, they can contact Jim at jimwalwyn@gmail.com or by calling him on 01948 662778 or 07814 854336.