Former Stapleford Hairdressers Could Become A Church
Religious leaders are praying for a hairway to heaven by seeking permission to open a church in a former hairdresser’s shop.
St Helen’s Church, in Stapleford, has applied to turn the former Top Kutz hairdresser’s, which had previously been the Montrose Court Post Office, into a ‘satellite’ church and community room.
A planning application, submitted to Broxtowe Borough Council** by Reverend Lydia Cartwright from the church, states: “The property now lies empty, and St Helen’s Church would like to take over the lease and use the premises as a church and community room to benefit the immediate community.
“There will be no development of the building as such, maybe just some redecoration. Although the parking is limited, this facility will be focused on the people of the estate itself (of which a large proportion of the households do not own a car) and not seek to attract people from further afield.
“Initially, we plan to open two mornings a week as a drop-in and on a Sunday afternoon for worship. The hope is that this will develop.”
The Post reported last year that despite a national trend of Sunday service attendance plummeting to its lowest ever level, the popularity of St Helen’s was soaring.
St Helen’s Church
It had seen a 40 percent increase in the number of people visiting the church since 2010, and church leaders put this down to meeting modern demands and moving with the times by putting on lots of community-based activities.
Rev Cartwright arrived in Stapleford last July fresh out of vicar training, and said she discovered a community “which seemed to have been overlooked”, with no communal space on this particular estate.
She told the Post: “From this base in the centre of the estate, it is hoped that the local residents will join with the small team from the parish church to create a space not only for worship, but from which there can be a community hub.
“As more people join us, the possibilities are endless: drop-in mornings, kids’ clubs, groups for the elderly, youth work… as well as space on a Sunday afternoon for people of all backgrounds and all generations to worship God together.”
She added that the Reverend Peter Huxtable, of St Helen’s, as well as local councillors and other local church leaders, were supportive of the plan.
Rev Cartwright said that if given the go-ahead, the scheme will rely on people’s goodwill and generosity, not only to get it furnished and up and running, but to cover operating costs.
The unit has been empty since August, when it was last used as a hairdresser’s by stylist Stacey Gough. The 25-year-old moved in in December 2015 but closed to go mobile with her Tangle Hair by Stacey business.
She said she had been attracted to the area as it been “really quiet for a long time” and she wanted to revive it.
But Stacey, who was born and bred in that part of Stapleford, moved out as she said there was no passing trade, and she had been put off by youths loitering outside.
She said: “I think if it is going to be a traditional church, I don’t think it will do very well, with young people hanging around.
“But if it’s more a community thing, with activities going on, like after-school clubs and things like that, it will help the younger generation. It needs something up there.”
Linda MacRae has been a member of St Helen’s Church since 1980 and is helping to work on the plans.
The Stapleford resident said: “It will be an additional element to our church services, which is quite exciting – I’m really looking forward to it and getting involved with it.”
Explaining why this particular unit had been chosen, she said: “Some of us just have a heart for that end of Stapleford – it seems to be a little bit out of the way and a little bit missed. I hope it gets approval – I can’t wait for it.
“It’s a good place as well because it’s quite central to that end of Stapleford – when the Premier shop is closed it looks a little bit dismal around there. Hopefully we can brighten it up and make a difference.”
**This application will be determined by the Planning Committee at Broxtowe Borough Council due to the fact that Councillor Richard MacRae as both the Stapleford North Ward Councillor and Chairman of Stapleford Community Group has an interest in this application. He will be allowed to speak but not vote on the the application.