Baptists have been a part of Hook Norton’s history since 1644, the chapel having been built in 1718, and re-built in 1787.
The grade II-listed Georgian chapel is showing signs of its age and needs some repair work and modernising to make it a place fit for worship for another 300 years.
The church has started a restoration project, which includes works to remove causes of damp and other deterioration, install thermal insulation, increase building security, install energy-efficient heating and lighting sympathetic to the original Georgian character.
This “once in a generation” project started in 2016 following a survey of the condition of the chapel, and the intervening years have been spent on surveys and obtaining permission for the works from the Baptist Union of Great Britain’s List Building Advisory Committee.
The project has been broken down into three phases, which include phase one – external works, phase two internal repairs, heating and lighting and phase three – gallery renovation.
The church hopes to raise enough funds to complete phase one and two in the next 12 months, leaving phase three to be addressed when further resources allow.
Peter Brookes, the pastor of Hook Norton Baptist Church, said: “This is an exciting time for our church as we seek to make our worship space fit for purpose in the 21st century.
"Furthermore, the renovated chapel will offer our community excellent facilities for concerts, dramas, exhibitions, etc. The grant of £6,000 from Alllchurches Trust has moved us along in reaching £185,000 of our target of £280,000."
The church has started an online fundraising campaign to help them reach their target of £280,000 for phase one and two of the project.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the church's restoration project can do so through church's Virgin Money Giving web page. Click on the following web link if you're interesting in donating the restoration campaign: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/HookNortonBaptistChurch
Pastor Brookes added: "We are pleased about the grant and want to acknowledge it, but also raise awareness of our lovely Georgian chapel and the renovation project in general.
"As one of the oldest Baptist churches in Great Britain, and one of the few surviving Georgian chapels, we have a proud heritage.
"Hooky Baptist is a small church of 32 members so we face a huge task to raise the funds needed, but we live by faith and trust God to provide the resources to do what He wants to do."