MEMBERS of a South Lakeland church are to hold a consultation to investigate how two halls can best be used by the surrounding community.

Leaders at Kendal Parish Church are considering the redevelopment of the Parish Hall and Kirkland Hall.

Both halls and car park are owned and managed by two trusts with the purpose of supporting the ministry and mission of the church.

The Rev Rob Saner-Haigh, vicar of Kendal Parish Church and chairman of the Kirkland Trust, said: “Our aim is for the trusts and site to enable work which benefits our community. This will be in areas such as youth work, help for the elderly and those on their own, local business and community groups and the development of the Kirkland area.

“Long term, we would like to develop and improve the Parish Hall so that it can provide welcoming, comfortable and suitable accommodation for different activities, from youth work to community lunches, from wedding parties to our parent and toddler group.”

No work will begin until a detailed consultation with the community and congregation members has been completed.

Finance for any redevelopment would also have to be drawn up and approved.

Brenda Sykes, one of the Parish Hall trustees, added: “It's really important that we hear what the local community would want from these buildings. They are important community assets and we want to ensure they will help meet the needs of groups and individuals in the area for many more years to come.”

A third building, Nether Hall, is now being considered for sale after proposals to “gift” it to the Manna House charity could not be financed.

Income from any sale would be used to help finance development of the Kirkland and Parish Hall trusts' work.

Mrs Sykes said: “We are at an exciting new stage, with new priorities and a new situation. We want to care for these buildings in the best way we can for the future to enable us to pursue our aims to benefit the whole community.

“But at this early stage it's vital that we hear what people want for the future of these halls.”


The consultation will be launched in the autumn.