Friends from across the North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit, the local community and St Matthews Church gathered at Leyburn Methodist Church on the afternoon of Monday 17th February for the grand dedication and official opening of the newly refurbished Church Hall.
After a short dedication service led by Reverend Melanie Reed including the cutting of a ribbon, a packed hall was treated to a varied concert of entertainment, including Mr Moray Welsh who gave a Cello solo performance of Bourees from the JS Bach suite in C, Mr Jonathan Sparey playing two violin solos of Largo from Vivaldi concerto in A minor and Londonderry Air arr. Henry Tolhurst, ably accompanied by his wife Elizabeth on the piano who also played for Miss Annabel Garrard and her violin solo Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni. Mr Paul Reed played his 12 string acoustic guitar singing I watch the sunrise, originally a Daniel O'Donnell piece, and followed this with a selection of humorous stories and jokes from his Cornish homeland. Mr and Mrs Sparey also joined Mr Welsh in performing musical trios which included Berceuse by Ilynski, Melody in F by Rubinstein and Mazurka Russe by Glinka. Everyone shared in a magnificent tea afterwards and much conversation.
The Church Hall is widely used by church members and community groups and hugely valued but now with a beautiful new kitchen, upgraded toiled facilities, a new side entrance allowing access to both the Church and the Hall, new lightweight and extremely comfortable chairs, fresh décor and improved heating; everyone agreed that the newly refurbished Hall was worth every penny and every hour of planning, hard work and fundraising. It would not have been possible without vision and belief alongside generous donations from church members, numerous fundraising activities including gift days and concerts, and grant making bodies. The Church is particularly grateful for grants received from the Methodist District and Circuit, All Churches Trust, RDC Area Partnership, Leyburn Co-op Charity Fund, and Methodist Insurance. Of the total overall project cost of £129,605.00 there is still a small shortfall to find which Church members are still striving hard to raise, but are overjoyed at the result of their efforts.
People in the photo 1: Wendy Grannan (Church Treasurer), Elizabeth Sparey (Church Steward), Jonathan Sparey (Church Steward), Marjorie Iveson (Church Steward), Reverend Melanie Reed (Church Minister and Circuit Superintendent).
Photo 2: Rev Melanie cutting the ribbon.