In recent years we have increasingly looked for opportunities to use the Church building wen we can, even though the facilities we have and its accessibility is limited. We’ve been resourceful and creative with what we have to make the space welcoming. We’ve also used the Church more regularly as a worship space with an increasing number of Baptisms and occasional weddings.
In November 2016, after 15 years away, the congregation of St Michael’s made the move back to the building for regular Sunday worship. We use a temporary marquee in the main space of the building to create an intimate and attractive worship area that can be heated in winter. This has been a valuable first step in discerning the future development, direction and need of the building in the Byker Community.
In 2016 the Church received a generous grant from Partners in Community Action towards refurbishing the toilet facilities and back rooms. This allows us to provide a base in the Church for some of our Children’s and Youth Work, as well as enabling the Church to be used by other community groups.
In 2017 the Church was awarded up to £200,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards urgent repairs to the roof and guttering. The project also includes the restoration of First and Second World War memorials in the Church and a community engagement project around the commemoration of the end of the First World War in November 2018.