A CHAPEL is hoping its new look will bring in more villagers.

Howden-le-Wear Methodist chapel has celebrated a £26,000 refurbishment to bring to 145-year-old chapel up to date.

The work has included removing all the pews, replacing them with chairs which can be moved to allow functions to take place in the chapel. The plumbing, electricity and heating systems have also been brought up to date and new floors, and fire doors and escapes have been put in.

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Peggy Johnson, who goes to the church, said: “The room we have wasn’t big enough to have events so we decided to take the pews out and have chairs so we would have a bigger space.

“We’ve kept the old pulpit and the wood so it still looks like the chapel. A lot of people in the village like the chapel to be the chapel so that was important.

“The whole idea was to let the village in more than we could before so we can hold all sorts of events now like concerts and discos.”

The chapel was re-dedicated in a special service on Sunday, September 27.

Rev Andrew Robinson said: “We’re really pleased with how it has come along. It’s been a nice match of old and new because we haven’t lost the sense of history of the place but it’s more user friendly.”

The church has raised about £26,000 through applying for grants and doing its own fundraising through soup mornings, afternoon teas and other events over the last year and a half.