WORK is continuing to progress on redeveloping Pickering Methodist Church - despite a number setbacks.

Three years ago a decision was made to completely renovate the building in order to be able to offer the town and surrounding villages a state-of-the-art community space.

Martin Redgard, who heads up the project team, said: “The redesigned building will allow up to three events to be run simultaneously – a vast improvement over the old configuration. The building will include energy-saving lighting and heating systems, a mobility platform, new toilets and kitchens, plus free wi-fi. There will also be a drop-in cafe.”

Martin added: “Fundraising began in 2015 with a target of £650,000 and thanks to the generosity of many charities, private donors and the Methodist Church, that challenging sum was raised by the end of 2018.

“Building work began in January 2019 and it was soon discovered that this 135-year- old building had some surprises in store.

“Hidden flues, fragile internal walls and several other issues has resulted in further delays and it is likely that the chapel itself will be out of service until the new year. Church services will continue to be shared with Pickering United Reformed Church in Hungate.”

Work in the rear of the building is proceeding well and it is hoped that this part of the project will be available from late November,

Martin said: “This has been a challenging but ultimately worthwhile project. We, and our contractors, have had to overcome several obstacles in dealing with an old building, but these are now largely resolved and we look forward to offering the people of Pickering a wonderful new amenity for the whole community to enjoy.”

Full details of the progress work can be found at