A NEW project will see the doors of a church at the heart of its town open to the public.

St Cuthbert's Church, in Darlington town centre, will be launching its Future Foundations project.

The scheme will see the church doors open during the week for members of the public to worship, visit or learn more about the town's heritage.

After a period of consultation, business planning and design, plans to transform the church building as part of the Future Foundations project will be launched on Thursday November 28.

The Revd Matthew Firth, Priest in Charge of St Cuthbert’s, said: "For too long, the doors to St Cuthbert’s Church in Darlington town centre have remained largely closed throughout the week, hiding away much of its 12th century magnificence inside.

"As one of the 350 Major Parish Churches in England, our vision for St Cuthbert’s is for it to be a lively hub of Christian worship, ministry and mission which also welcomes and connects with the whole town through the arts, heritage, education and hospitality.

"We see a future for St Cuthbert’s where the doors are constantly open for everyone - for those coming for a high-quality conference day and corporate dinner, for those seeking to learn more about the rich heritage of our town, for those coming to experience an orchestral concert of national quality, and for those seeking to connect with life in all its fullness which is beyond ourselves and yet close by.

"To make this vision a reality, transformation of the church building and its surroundings is required. "After a period of consultation, business planning and design, we are now ready to reveal our stunning plans and to officially launch our Future Foundations project."

The launch event begins at 7pm at St Cuthbert's Church, and will open with champagne and canapés, followed by an unveiling and viewing of the plans, a performance by St Cuthbert's Choir and a closing speech.

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by emailing mpf1983@hotmail.com or call 01325 353614