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Boxing club rescues 'festering' church building from closure

by Will Hobbs
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Street Methodist Church

Parts of a church building in Somerset that were falling into disrepair have been brought back to life by a boxing club.

The Pyramid Boxing Club moved into the top floor of Street Methodist Church, whose vicar, Reverend Colin Moore, says the club has saved the building from certain closure.

Angela Wittleton, who's in charge of activities on-site, tells Premier the partnership is a huge boost for church upkeep and outreach.

"It does seem strange, but talking to the boxing club, they've got stories of other clubs in the country where there are partnerships with church buildings. So there is a synergy there. Which is what led us to want them there in the first place because of wanting the links."

Wittleton, who grew up near the church, told Premier the school rooms on the floor above the church had not been used for a few years, and with the heating turned off, they had been left to "fester."

But out of the blue, came hope.

"A perfectly timed chance call from a work contact asked if we knew of any space for rent. And that enabled me to meet up with Nicole Ryan and Ross from Pyramid. And, and it all went from there, they love the space. And I've taken over the first floor of these church school rooms."

Club secretary and coach Nicole Miles told BBC reporters the church building was a "lovely" place to work, with a really "wide range of people who come and attend."

The club, she says, is starting a Parkinson's disease group at the church.

Wittleton finally offered some advice for churches who are thinking of making a similar collaboration.

"Well, go for it for a start! But I would say it can be noisy, as they're on the first floor. And at some point, we are going to have to look at some soundproofing for the rooms below. So bear that in mind."

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