Villagers have a place to meet after 10 years

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Villagers in Idridgehay finally have a venue to hold events after their parish church was adapted as part of a £50,000 project.

For the last 10 years residents in the village have been raising funds or a place where people can meet and hold activities as there is no village hall.

The project has been supported by the parish council, Exton Trust and the Chatsworth Trustees over the years.

And its completion was made possible this year through a grant for community use from the Department of Culture, 
Media and Sport.

Now, the new venue has been opened for public use with the Archdeacon of Chesterfield, The Venerable Christine Wilson dedicating the new facilities during a ceremony on Sunday, October 28.

Andrew Hilton, the son of the late Sir Peter Hilton and Lady Winifred Hilton also attended to name the meeting area the Alton Room to mark the close connection between the church and Alton Manor which was his parents home for more than 50 years, until Lady Hilton died last year.

As part of the improvements the vestry has been converted into an accessible toilet; the pews have been removed, created a meeting and activity area; a kitchen has been installed built partly out of the former pews and an area for smaller groups of people has been established.

Canon David Truby , Team Rector of Wirksworth said: “I hope this will now provide a venue for all the people of the parish and enable new activities to take place. It will also be available for people from elsewhere as that will help the viability of the project.

“I am especially pleased at how well the new facilities blend into the character of the Victorian church. Standing on the Duffield to Wirksworth road the church with its magnificent spire is a landmark in the village and I hope that the new facilities will give it an assured future so it will remain at the heart of community life.”