Guests from all over the county joined Bishop Tim to celebrate the opening of the new church rooms at St Goran Church.

The service marks the end of 18 months of hard work and fundraising after it became clear the church was in need of refurbishment.

Taken by Rev Dr Christopher Newell, the special Thanksgiving service included the sprinkling of holy water throughout the new building and on the commemorative plaque. A blessing of the position of the news bells and bell tower also took place with a peal to round off the night.

The addition of two new bells, 004-opening-of-new-gallery-st-goran-church-090916-c-magie-jordanthanks to an anonymous donation, means that St Goran Church bell tower now holds 10 bells, a rare feat in Cornwall especially for such a small village church. In fact, the bell ringing team at Goran have had numerous requests from other teams around the country to come and ring the bells and have visits booked for the next two years.

The new work on the church include the new church room, a smaller meeting room, two toilets with disabled access, a large kitchen which links onto the church room and a new gallery area with a breath-taking view of the church from above.

These facilities are a result of a lot of hard work from the parish and community of Goran and Gorran Haven. It was realized in September 2014 that works were needed and the PCC Committee of Planning and Fundraising gave themselves a year to raise the estimated cost of £270,000. The plan to sell an adjacent property for £100,000 proved very helpful as it was then renovated and turned into affordable flats for local people by the St Goran Community Land Trust.
As well as grants from The Joseph Rank Foundation, All Churches Trust Limited, Cornwall Community Foundation and Cornwall Historic Churches Trust, a range of fundraising events were held including a sponsored 24-hour bible read by Rev Christopher. They managed to raise enough money to start the build within that year and work started in September 2015.

The new and improved west wing of the church provides facilities that the church has never had before as 001-st-goran-new-gallery-cwwell as offering the option to close off the end of the church to make a more intimate setting when needed.
Rev Christopher is pleased to say that they have already had a number of enquiries from the local community who would like to use the new facilities and in time, he hopes they can be used by the local school for assemblies and plays, as well as art exhibitions and recitals.

This new flexible space is an exciting move for the parish and Rev Christopher added: “I believe it is a way for rural churches to guarantee the use of their church for generations to come.”