A church hall in Corby is offering programmes for recovering addicts, ex-offenders and those with mental health issues after converting into a gym.
The Church of the Epiphany in Elizabeth Street, next to the disused magistrates’ court, has turned its hall into a fitness facility, offering a community gym as well as boxing, MMA and calisthenics.
It also has a designated chapel for worship, prayer and Bible study.
The Rev Paul Frost said: “We have been doing fitness stuff in the church for three or four years now and this is about taking it to the next stage.
“It’s not been a regular church for about eight years but it is still a church building, so we’re looking to combine the two ideas.
“Historically, churches have been community buildings that have been used for other things as well as worship and we’re rediscovering that.”
The gym, named the Chapel Gym, is run by Christian organisation ‘Acts 9’ which is in the process of becoming a charity.
Mr Frost added that the project has received support from residents and organisations alike.
It has taken on staff and equipment from a gym which recently closed in Occupation Road.
He said: “We’ve been given a lot of equipment but we’ve got some new equipment and the church has contributed.
“The congregation has been really supportive.
“There’s been a couple of people who have been there through its whole history.
“In addition to a vast selection of weights and cardio equipment we also have a rig for calisthenics and a large matted area, punch bags and a boxing ring for aspiring fighters.”
The project is a ‘Fresh Expression’ of church, helping St John’s Church in Corby Old Village to connect with people which other churches cannot reach.
To find out more about what the gym has to offer, visit their Facebook page.