Community space created at Arkengarthdale church

A community space has been created at an Arkengarthdale church.

Work has been carried out on St Mary’s Church in Langthwaite following the closure of both the local Methodist church and the primary school.

Penny O’Regan, church treasurer, said: “Both these buildings had also been used for community and cultural events and with their closure this left St Mary’s as the only community facility in the Dale.

“We wanted to create an open space and accessible toilet within the church which would be flexible and multi-functional and enable the space to meet the needs of different user groups and groups of varying abilities.”

Penny added: “Funding was raised by way on donations and grants to remove several rows of pews at the back of the church, install a mobility ramp and level the floor at the back of the pews to create an open flexible space accessible to people of all abilities.

“We installed a kitchenette and servery to provide refreshments and built a small, stone-faced, slate roofed extension to provide accessible toilet facilities and storage for the new chairs and tables.”

Church leaders say the local community has already actively embraced the project and Arkengarthdale Community Hub has been created to organise social and community events at the Church.”

The space and the Hub will be formally opened at a celebratory event on Saturday, July 15.

It is hoped so-called champing (church camping) can be offered through The Churches Conservation Trust later this year.

Church leaders have thanked the following organisations and individuals who awarded grants or gave donations, as well as Mike Overton, of Overton Architects and contractors Roebuck and Holmes.

  • Richmondshire District Council/North Yorkshire Council
  • The Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • National Churches Trust
  • The Duke of Norfolk
  • Benefact Trust
  • The Congregation of St Mary’s Church
  • Hudson House Community Company, Reeth
  • The Church of England Diocese of Leeds


  1. This will be absolutely great for the dale, as they have lost three main buildings over the years which served the people the Dale and was sad to see them go especially the school where so much effort was put in to save it over the years until it was sadly closed and sold like so many more. I remember the chapel when so many local people gave up their time to convert it to a function room and a floor was put in to make the upstairs into the chapel area for services. All that hard work by so many then it was closed and sold and the dale lost yet another asset. So this community space in the church I’m sure will be most welcome.

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