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Shh! Church becomes a library, but worship isn’t shelved

24 March 2011

by Ed Beavan

A CHURCH in Devonport which had been falling into disrepair has been transformed to house the public library.

Worshippers at St Aubyn’s, Devon­­port, near Plymouth, now share the renovated Grade II Geor­gian building with the library, after it reopened last month as part of a project (pictured, above). The re­devel­opment cost £2.2 million, and was financed by the Devonport Re­generation Commun­ity Partner­ship.

The library had previously been housed in the former mortuary of the town’s Guildhall, where it was felt to be cramped: the renovated church is four times as big. Church services now take place on a mezzanine floor in front of the stained-glass window in the east end, where the space can hold up to 40 people.

The Rector of St Aubyn’s, the Revd David Nixon, said that the trans­formed building now had a real “wow factor”, after previously being in a “terrible condition”.

“We’re just beginning to redis­cover how to do worship in the church. We have a Sunday eucharist and a Thursday service; the library is closed on these days.

“We hope to use the building as a performance space in the future,” he said.

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