Meersbrook Church and Community Centre Rises from the Rubble

Posted on June 1, 2010 by


Dramatic changes are taking place on Chesterfield Road.  The familiar church building that has stood at the junction of Chesterfield Road and Beeton Road for more than 100 years has been demolished and a new church and community centre is rising up on the site of the old.

The original church building was condemned as structurally unsound 10 years ago and ever since then the congregation of Meersbrook Park United Reform Church has been working towards replacing it with a new modern building fit for the 21st century.

They quickly realised that the original building was beyond economic modernisation and repair and began raising funds to replace it.  During this time while the main building of the church was being held up by internal load-bearing scaffolding all church activities were confines to one small room which was literally under a different roof and therefore safe to use.

In February this year a demolition team moved in and the congregation moved out to a temporary home in the St Paul’s Scout Hut in Welby Place.  Unfortunately, the weekly Lunch Club has had to be temporarily suspended for the duration of the rebuilding programme.  The Brownies and Guides have also had to find themselves a new home for the time being, the Senior Citizens Orchestra has moved to Coal Aston and the Ladies Group and Meersbrook Operatic Society have also decamped.

All are keen to move back when the new premises are completed by the end of the year.  From the outset, members of the church have been clear that they wanted to develop a centre which would offer a Christian presence in the area but at the same time belong to the community and offer much needed community facilities to the Meersbrook area – and it is hoped that pupils from Meersbrook Bank School will prepare a time capsule for burial on the site of the new church.

The outline of the new building is now becoming clearly visible to passers-by and is creating a lot of interest.  When the building is complete there will be a series of open days to allow people to look round and see what facilities are available.

The new church and community centre will occupy approximately half the site – the remainder is for sale with outline planning permission for 11 apartments and this sale will help fund the new building which is costing approximately £500,000.