The current Church was rebuilt in 1995 with an official opening and rededication on the 30th March 1996. Here’s the story…
A quinquennial inspection of the Chapel and Sunday School buildings, built in 1873, was carried out in 1990. The report revealed that an enormous amount of work was needed to bring the premises up to standard and a decision was made in February 1991 to take down the large chapel building , refurbish and extend the Sunday School to use as a multipurpose building. Even this scheme was felt to be too costly to undertake but eventually, after much prayer and discussion, the Church Council decided to work in stages.
In the meantime, in June 1991, a large area of ceiling fell down and when an inspection was carried out, a second patch was dislodged and the ceiling declared unsafe. Services then had to the held in the Sunday School.
The chapel building was demolished in August 1994 though services were held for a week or two in a boarded up Sunday School. Our friends at St George’s Church very kindly invited us to hold our services in their Church, an offer accepted with gratitude.
As work on rebuilding progressed, we hit several snags. Two walls were found to be made of white brick which was not strong enough to carry the weight of the roof, so these walls had to be rebuilt. In order to check the foundations of one of these walls, part of the kitchen floor had to be dug up and it was decided to include the kitchen in the scheme. Building regulations required new beams to be reinforced with steel plates and later it was found that the wooden floor needed replacing, all adding greatly to the cost.
Our choice of Brian Goodman as contractor was a particularly happy one. His help and advice were invaluable, the quality of workmanship excellent and he, his workmen and other contractors all gave their very best.
A great deal of support and financial help was given by the St Austell Methodist Circuit and also the Methodist Property Division, Manchester Grants were also received from Restormel Borough Council, St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council and Cornwall Historic Churches Trust.
Fundraising began in April 1992 with an appeal to the village and people with Nanpean connections, since when a variety of events were organised, including coffee mornings, car boot sales, sponsored events and balloon races to name but a few. Donations and interest free loans brought us to the stage where we could pay almost all of our bills but, of course the loans had to be repaid, and fundraising continued for a time.
The organ was dismantled, renovated and stored and was rebuilt with an alternative stop and balanced swell added. The rededication of the organ was planned for the weekend of the 10th June 1996 which coincided with the 100th Anniversary of it’s original dedication, 10th June 1896.
Our heartfelt thanks must go to everyone who has supported us – with their prayers, encouragement and financial help. The project proved to be much bigger and more extensive than was first planned but whenever the burden threatened to overwhelm us, help (sometimes from unexpected quarters) lifted our spirits and gave us strength to continue.