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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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Carlisle church pleads to come out of the darkness

A church group has asked city planners in Carlisle to let there be light – by allowing them to unblock windows which were bricked up more than 30 years ago.

Carlisle Christian Fellowshi photo
Carlisle Christian Fellowship

Carlisle City Council’s planning committee has yet to make a decision on the application, which has been submitted by the Charlotte Street building’s owners, Carlisle Christian Fellowship (CCF).

But if they get approval, it will be mean that the windows will be reinstated for the first time in 33 years.

They were originally bricked up to prevent vandal attacks. CCF treasurer Roland Barklem said the application had been made because church officials wanted to make more use of the ground floor of the church.

“It could be used for young people work and for other things such as worship,” he said. The church has an average weekly attendance of around 130 people.

Mr Barklem added: “It will be nice not to have to depend on artificial light.

“And it will be nice to have daylight shining through the glass, which will create a brighter atmosphere.”

If approved, the new windows will be opened up with reinforced glass which will be in keeping with the other windows on the church’s first floor.

Dating from 1860, the church building was extended in 1878 to make room for a Sunday school which attracted in the region of 400 children.

It was later taken over by Jehovah’s Witnesses, who blocked up 39 ground floor windows because they were being repeatedly smashed.

In 2007, Carlisle Christian Fellowship applied to unblock windows on the upper floors, including two original stained glass windows.

At the time, a spokesman for the church said: “We want to open them up because it’s like a cellar. We’ve got lights of course, but it will be more cheery with daylight.”

The CCF bought the building for £120,000 in 2000. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had been there since 1978, built a new Kingdom Hall all on one level on Durranhill Road.

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