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Chatham church resurrection

by Marco Cillario Wed 14 December 2016, 2:55 pm

A church in Chatham town centre is to reopen after more than 20 years.

The Diocese of Rochester is to implement a £1.3 million project to bring St John’s Church back to life as a community place for worship. Plans also include opening a language cafe.

The diocese has been awarded a grant of £665,000 by the church commissioners towards the scheme.

“This grant allows us to invest in the future of the town centre, where we believe the strength of the local community gives so much potential to build a thriving, successful place,” said Matthew Girt, the diocese’s director of strategy.

The Grade II-listed church was built in 1820 by Sir Robert Smirke, who was also responsible for the facade and main block of the British Museum. It has been closed since the mid-90s.

“We welcome this £1.3 million boost for Chatham, which supports Medway Council’s strategic plans to regenerate the town, including St John’s Square,” said Medway Council’s portfolio holder for strategic regeneration, Councillor Rodney Chambers. “Working in partnership with the church ensures that these exciting regeneration schemes make a social impact as well as a physical one.”

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