Charity Bank has granted £250,000 to St Michael's church in Macclesfield, Cheshire, to modernise the Grade II listed building. The project, called 'Open Door', had already raised £1.2 million but needed more money to launch the first phase of its development.
Charity Bank, which provides affordable finance to charities, was quick to support the initiative. "They understand the difficulties of this sort of faith or community-based project, but see that in the right circumstances, it can be an acceptable lending risk," said Cliff Mills, chair of the project's fundraising group.
St Michael's church still needs to raise a lot more money, partly to repay its loan. However, its plans for future fundraising have convinced the bank. "This is exciting news for the future of other churches facing similar situations," Mills said.
With new facilities such as a welcome area and a clergy interview room, the church will be able to open more regularly.