WORSHIPPERS turned out in their droves for the re-opening of a village church after it underwent a £100,000 transformation.
St Faith’s Church in Belper Lane End staged its last service in 2005 and since then has remained locked and shut.
However, after property investor Caroline Foster, from Little Eaton, invested her own cash in the building - along with business partner Joe Hickling - around 80 locals packed out the church for its first service on Sunday.
Sunday’s praise service, led by Rod Hawgood, was the first event to be held in the revamped building, which is planned to become a community hub, hosting weddings, church services, classes and health clinics.
Chairman of the Friends of St Faith’s Committee, Gary Spendlove, said: “The community really came together. We didn’t advertise it widely but the building was full.
“We had messages of support come through from Christian groups all over the country and even one from a church in Canada.
“It was all very positive - people seemed to be delighted and enlightened by the whole occasion.”
Mrs Foster started her own property business, buying and developing homes a decade ago.
And after spotting that St Faith’s on the market a year ago, she was keen to give something back to residents in Belper Lane End.
She said: “There seemed to be a need and a wish for the church to be opened. It’s about the local community coming together, co-operating and enjoying life together. That’s something we so quickly lose sight of in this world of regulations, red tape and money.”