A charity has been awarded a £5,000 grant to fund research into public opinion over plans to turn a defunct Sudbury church into a community hub.
Sudbury Hive, which provides networking opportunities for community groups, received the cash boost from the Power to Change Trust, following the closure of Christ Church in January.
The grade II listed church in School Street and adjoining Friars Hall was forced to close due to dwindling congregation numbers.
The charity is now spearheading the project to transform the church into a community hub, with the hope that it will benefit the town as a whole.
Views sought over the next couple of months will be used to form a business plan, with talks over leasing or buying the building planned for a later date.
The initiative was prompted by concerns over a lack of community buildings in Sudbury, as uncertainty mounts over the future of the Delphi Centre.
Trustee Lesley Ford-Platt said: “Sudbury Hive would hope to manage the building so that its use by community groups could be maximised in response to local needs by using the facilities within the church and within Friars Hall for meetings, rehearsals, arts and musical events, as well as possibly services of worship.”
The Rev Richard Titford, of Friars Street, expressed his sadness at the church’s closure last month and the subsequent failure to keep the spire floodlit at night.
He described the spire as a “beacon of hope” for surrounding residents.
A property spokeswoman for the Eastern Synod, which owns the building, was unable to shed light on the church’s future plans last month.
Views towards the initiative can be submitted to community engagement worker Karen Bleay by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 01787 371 333.