A RELIGIOUS text inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels has gone on display at a Darlington church.

The Darlington Gospels, which spread messages of hope for the future from each of the Anglican churches in the Darlington deanery, will be at St Matthew and St Luke's Church, in Brinkburn Road, until September 1.

Prepared by congregation member Val Smith a year ago, St Matthew and St Luke's page talks of plans reorganise and revitalise an area at the back of the church.

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Since then, those plans have started to come together, with the back three rows of pews taken out and replaced by cafe-style seating.

This is used for a monthly 'church cafe' service, in which the congregation can discuss issues in an informal way, over a cup of tea or coffee, rather than listen to the traditional sermon.

Curate Barbara Hilton said: "It is a more active type of service, we give people a topic to discuss and hear their feedback at the end.

"Children like it, it's a more family-friendly service."

It is hoped to continue the improvements over the coming months, with plans in place for a small kitchen area, accessible toilet and new lighting system.

It is part of a £100,000 series of improvements at St Matthew and St Luke's, which is approaching its 80th anniversary in a couple of years.

The Gospels can be viewed during the church's weekly coffee mornings, from 10am to noon on Tuesdays, or before or after Sunday services.