Animated butterfly
The vision

This historic Church, dating from 1824, is the oldest Methodist Church in use in the High Wycombe Circuit. The Church has been extended several times from the original building, the most recent being in the 1924 with the addition of the schoolrooms (to the left of the picture).

Sunnybank photo

Some years ago central heating had been installed throughout, and double glazing fitted to the schoolroom windows. An extensive refurbishment was planned for which funds were urgently required.

We had felt for some time that the basic facilities at the chapel were lacking, the kitchen and toilets needed updating, and we felt we needed a "welcome area" in which to greet people, or to share a cup of coffee and chat.

The internal layout of the worship area was not always conducive to the sort of services we wanted to hold.

We decided therefore to embark on what for us was the largest scheme we had tackled to date.

We took expert advice on a refurbishment scheme to address the main areas of concern and to make the building a more user friendly and accessible place for all to worship, including people with disabilities. We wanted to increase public awareness of the church, and persuade more people that cleaning the car really could be done some other time; that church is "the place to be" on Sunday morning,! and possibly at other times too.

The bad news was that the project was costed at over 90,000!

As the only church geographically in the village of Downley, we felt this was something we must take on for the future of the village, and so we were determined to raise the money and made this our millennium project.

We tried to involve more folk in what was going on and to encourage all to come down and see what we were trying to do.