Work to transform Sheffield church under way

Work on churchyard at St Thomas' Church in Crookes.
Work on churchyard at St Thomas' Church in Crookes.
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RESIDENTS in a Sheffield suburb face months of building work on their doorstep as the transformation of a church gets under way.

St Thomas Church in Crookes is being joined with its neighbouring church centre in a project to create a new ‘campus’, which will take around 28 weeks to complete.

The new-look two-storey structure will feature a glass-fronted entrance, disabled toilet and an outdoor stage. A ‘village square’ with outdoor gathering area will be built over the existing playground.

Plans for the campus were originally submitted to Sheffield Council in April 2009.

At the time, a number of residents in nearby Carson Road voiced concerns over the amount of disruption that work would cause and potential obstruction of their view.

But, despite the opposition, the church was given the green light five months later and representatives set about raising the £1 million needed to fund the build.

The Reverend Mick Woodhead, team rector at St Thomas Church, said: “This project will enable the church to be at the centre of our community, offering amazing new facilities, including training and conference opportunities, and a great welcome to the people of Crookes, the city of Sheffield and beyond. In a time of austerity and challenge, this exciting project brings hope for the future and is definitely good news.”

But some residents were shocked to discover work had begun, and that the church had not sent letters to locals.

John Nettleship, secretary of Crookes’ Residents Association, said: “I wasn’t aware of anything until I noticed work had started. Nothing had been said. I remember they were planning to join the buildings together a long time ago, but nothing ever started.”