Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Church group desperate to raise £100k for Ponders End Methodist Church renovation
A church group is desperate to raise £100,000 to restore a popular church in Ponders End.
The 80-year-old Ponders End Methodist Church in Hertford Road is in need of new stained glass windows, carpets and decoration in order to restore the building to its former glory.
Members of the 70-strong congregation have raised more than £140,000 in the past ten years through table-top sales, donations and bequests to update the church.
However, the money has now been spent on renovating the toilets in the church and installing a new heating and lighting system.
The church has £4,000 left, but needs to acquire more funds in order to complete the major project.
Paul Charters, one of five project managers at the church, said: “This congregation is not rich, we are a working class area and statistically highly deprived and most of the people live locally.
"We are not rich people and so far it has been done by the people.”
They would like to install stained glass windows that are decorated with the names of members of the congregation who have died.
Linda Utting, former church council secretary, who has been a member of the congregation for 50 years, described the church as "tatty."
She said: “It looks so unloved. The people are wonderful which is why we are a growing church.
“People come in and get such a welcome they keep coming back; people weren’t looking at the building. A church is the people, not its building, but we don’t have a building that is fit for purpose.”
Various development projects have been proposed on the church's site over the past ten years, including transforming the area into sheltered accomodation complete with a new church.
The congregation had not wanted to renovate the church while its future was uncertain, but they are now dedicated to staying put.
If sourced, the money would also be used to transform two rooms at the back of the church into community space - either for a parent and toddler group or for youths.
The worn rooms currently provide the venue for Sunday school, but the church-goers believe they have a space which could prove valuable to people in the borough.
Mr Charters said: “We feel that we have a space for use on a regular basis in the day time for community use.
“The space is available and we want to use the premises.”
One room has a thick crack in the wall - which has been covered by plaster, which was caused by a bomb blast during the Second World War.
Mr Charters believes it may take up to ten years to come up with such a substantial amount of money.