A CHURCH in Dursley has been awarded several thousand pounds to go towards vital repairs and towards supporting the town's new youth centre.

Dursley Tabernacle Church was visited by Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis from the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust and presented minister Rev Simon Helme with a £7,000 cheque, which will go towards urgent repairs to the fabric of their listed building.

Mr Jarvis acknowledged the challenges maintaining an elderly church premises brings and said how pleased the trust was to be able to support it with the demands of maintaining the heritage property.

In addition, he commended the church for committing itself to putting forward funding for the new youth centre being built nearby.

The church on Parsonage Street requires repairs to the roof and other parts of the building, which are necessary for the adjacent youth centre to be protected.

The roof leak could potentially jeopardise the new youth centre with water run off.

The church has been further buoyed by a cheque for £2,000 from Renishaw towards their share of the construction costs for the new youth centre.

Renishaw Charity Committee chairman Jeremy Chamberlain explained how pleased they were to support a project in Dursley which would benefit young people.

“For over 25 years our employee-led charities committee has supported charitable and voluntary organisations throughout the South West, with a particular focus on organisations that assist children, including toddler groups, educational projects, sports clubs, and support for the disabled and disadvantaged,” he said.

“We are therefore very pleased to be able to assist with the project to create a youth centre that will benefit many young people in the Dursley area.”

The church putting forwards approximately £90,000 to the conversion costs necessary for the installation of the youth centre in the old Parsonage building which is integral to their building.

They are in partnership with Dursley Town Council which is contributing some £300,000 towards the construction costs.

The construction phase began in April and work is currently on target for completion in September this year.

Mr Helme said the money was very much appreciated as it helped them keep the active church running.

“The support has been very helpful, bills are always coming in so it is really appreciated,” he said.

“More and more are using the community centre and obviously the more we are able to improve the premises then the more groups will come to use them.”