Roll up, roll up

A flying trapeze rig and a sprung dance floor are being added to one of England's finest gothic churches in a pioneering £3.5m voluntary sector partnership. The Churches Conservation Trust and circus school Circomedia have transformed St Paul's, Bristol, after it fell into dereliction. Drug users and prostitutes inhabited the building, which is one of 334 churches in the trust's care, after services ended in 1998. The trust hired a consultant to find a Bristol charity that could bring the church back to life. Besides performing, Circomedia will teach circus skills, while the church can still be used for up to six religious services a year. A £2.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant is the main source of funding, and renovation should finish in spring. The trust is seeking more voluntary sector partners for similar ventures using disused churches. "Our mission is to restore our churches to the heart of their communities," said chief executive Crispin Truman.

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