Bridlington’s iconic Priory Church will close for two months in the New Year.
Services and events will be moved into the church rooms while a state-of-the-art new lighting system is installed in the town’s landmark building.
The £115,000 will see the church closed during January and February, allowing Christmas celebrations to be held as normal and avoiding the busiest time of the year for wedding ceremonies.
The Priory’s Rector, the Rev Matthew Pollard said “We had a site meeting with the contractors. It became apparent that it would be impossible to use the church building whilst the job is going on.
“There is going to be scaffolding down the full length of both sides. The only lighting will be from temporary workmen’s lights rigged up for them to get round the building.
“And it’s inevitable that there will be too much dust and mess created to open the church each weekend.”
Rev Pollard wrote to the Bishop of Hull, the Right Rev Alison White, and she has given special permission for the Priory Church Rooms to be used as a
temporary place of worship while the work is done.
“It’s going to be business as usual as far as it can be,” promised Rev Pollard. “All the usual weekly community activities will continue.
“Then on a Saturday evening, we shall set the hall up to be used as a church.
“The splendid Priory Choir will lead the services accompanied on an electric piano. It’s going to be a bit like camping out. We hope everybody will find it fun.
“But it will be good to get church building back.”
The new lighting will be a digitally-controlled LED system to show the 900-year-old building’s full splendour.
Rev Pollard explained “It’s not just about brightness of light. It’s about quality of light.
“The new lighting will make it easier to read print on the page and enable us to have the right lighting for the right occasion. It’s going to be possible to have the lights on in eight different ways according to how the building is being used, whether as a place of public worship, heritage destination or concert venue.”
Around £120,000 has been spent on restoring stonework on the outside of the building this year.
“It’s only been possible to do this essential work because of the commitment and generosity of previous generations,” said Rev Pollard.
“It’s now the responsibility of this generation to make sure there is money available for the next generation when the need arises.”
He stressed that the Priory receives no government money and relies on what people choose to donate either by regular giving, attending Priory events or leaving a legacy in their will.
The first church service in the Priory Church Rooms will be on Sunday, January 7, and the church is eexpected to reopen at the end of Feburary.