Gretton congregation left in cold as boiler fund needs urgent boost

Gretton Baptist Chapel
Gretton Baptist Chapel

Worshippers unable to use their chapel after the building’s heating system failed have appealed for help.

Gretton Baptist Chapel members had already started a fundraising campaign to replace the boiler with an eco-friendly system.

Gretton Baptist Chapel'' - Rev Peter Lloyd

Gretton Baptist Chapel'' - Rev Peter Lloyd

With the winter on its way, the chapel is now too cold to use and services have been relocated.

Minister of Gretton Baptist Chapel, Rev Peter Lloyd said: “We knew our heating was going to go wrong - it was just a matter of when.

“In April it gave out and the congregation wanted to replace the boiler with a greener system - not oil or gas.

“We chose air source heating to provide under-floor heating because it is the most efficient method.

“At the same time we wanted to refurbish two rooms on the side of the chapel and knock it into one - the roof leaks so it needs doing at the same time.”

The congregation have been busy fundraising to refurbish the chapel which was built in 1824.

Phase one of the planned refurbishment costing £128,400 will see the heating, the vestry and boiler room upgraded.

Further phases will see improvements to toilets, access into the chapel and internal decoration totalling an estimated £400,000.

Mr Lloyd, 57, who has been minister at the chapel for 11 years, said: “We started fundraising a couple of years ago, starting in earnest in early 2019.

“We’ve managed to raise £65,000 and have pledges for a further £25,000 but that still leaves us short of around £17,000 plus the VAT.”

As well as regular services, the chapel is home to community groups including Little Lambs parent and toddler group, a pilates class and a group for childminders.

The regular congregation of 40 to 50 adults and children have been unable to use their worship space due to the cold weather but have been welcomed by nearby St James’ Church.

A schoolroom attached to the chapel still has heating and can be used for smaller gatherings and functions.

Mr Lloyd added: “St James’ have kindly invited us to use their church three Sundays a month. The fourth we have a joint service.

“People in our congregation and the village have been very generous and we have been applying for grants and have been successful with two.

“We’ve had donations from some other churches in the area and from individuals who aren’t part of any church at all.

“To say thank you to the village, we held an autumn fair where people could sell crafts and produce.

“We didn’t charge but many people generously donated their takings to our fundraising.

“When I went into ministry I didn’t expect to spend so much time fundraising - it’s quite a challenge.”

Please contact Mr Lloyd 01536 772155.