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Major church refit is complete

PUBLISHED: 14:25 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 11 August 2010

RESILIENT CHURCHGOERS could finally take off their dust masks to celebrate St Patrick s Day in freshly refurbished surroundings. St Patricks Church in Blake Avenue, Barking, which was built in 1940, re-opened after a six month makeover, which cost around

RESILIENT CHURCHGOERS could finally take off their dust masks to celebrate St Patrick's Day in freshly refurbished surroundings.

St Patricks Church in Blake Avenue, Barking, which was built in 1940, re-opened after a six month makeover, which cost around £200,000, last Monday.

Rev Gordon Barley said: "About 170 friends and supporters came from all over. The mayor and his wife and one of our previous vicars and his wife were here.

"It was wonderful, our music group sang really well.

A large section of the floor had to be dug up due to problems with damp and subsidence, and a brand new partitioning wall has been put up between the entrance and the congregation hall.

New chairs have replaced the pews, and the fresh paint, new windows and polished floors flood the inside of the church with air and light.

A new kitchen, toilets and an accessible toilet have also been installed

"When we started planning the refurbishment in 2005, we looked at how much we could raise - it was going to be a lot of money, at least £20,000.

"But as we went forward with our plans, the subsidence got worse."

As a result, 13m piles had to be dug into the soil.

He said that, despite that, the community only missed one service.

"It was difficult and dusty.

"It really is a testimony to people's strength to go on regardless.


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