A CHURCH in Bournemouth has been transformed with a new extension and lift thanks to a £40,000 donation.

St Barnabas Church, which is based in Mount Pleasant Drive, has added an extension to their facilities to enable elderly and disabled members of the congregation to attend services with ease.

It has been made possible by the local grant giving charity, Talbot Village Trust.

The funding has permitted the installation of a lift giving disabled access to all three floors of the church, as well as new disabled toilet facilities, the creation of a multi-functional room and a small kitchenette.

Roger Bourne, churchwarden of St. Barnabas Church, said: “When St. Barnabas Church was originally built in the 1960s no consideration was given to the needs of the elderly and the disabled.

"This means that the upper levels of the church could only accessed by steps.

"This much-needed extension has made the building fit for purpose and enables the inclusion of everyone in the local community regardless of ability."

Work started on the new extension in November 2015 with the plans focusing on accessibility, flexibility and facilities.

The church was originally built at a cost of just over £60,000 with a dedication service taking place in June 1968.

Originally the intention was that St Barnabas Church would eventually form its own parish with its own vicar but this did not take place and remains a part of the Parish of Holdenhurst, alongside St John the Evangelist.

Russell Lucas-Rowe from Talbot Village Trust said: ‘‘We are happy to see the transformation that has taken place at St. Barnabas Church with the aid of our funding.

"It is only right that a church is fit to allow everyone in the community to enjoy the church’s facilities."

Talbot Village Trust meets twice a year and will be accepting applications for funding from both previous and new applicants in the area before the trustees meet again in May.

For more information, go to Talbotvillagetrust.org