Couple's rescue mission to give former Methodist chapel a new lease of life
- Credit: Daniel Mason/Andrew Campbell
A couple who bought a former Methodist chapel in desperate need of repair are on their way to bringing it back to life.
Andrew and Nell Campbell, previously of Sedge Fen, only saw two pictures online of the building on New Road, Chatteris before deciding to buy it last year.
“It was an unknown thing as we didn’t know what we would find in there,” Andrew said.
Andrew and Nell bought the building, believed to have been originally built over 200 years ago, from a German model maker who worked in the film industry.
They found issues such as tainted walls, overgrown land and a ceiling in need of an uplift.
Renovation costs are thought to be between £100,000 - £120,000, but due to his fascination with the building, Andrew could not have asked for a better project to work on.
“It’s a challenge, but an enjoyable one,” he said.
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“It was the building I went for and 99.9 per cent of the time, I thoroughly enjoy being here.”
After starting work on the building last spring, Andrew and Nell were living in a mobile caravan next door before moving in earlier this month.
Having bought the former chapel for £270,000, Andrew has received help from plumbers, electricians and his brother, a conservation builder specialising in historic buildings.
Andrew also stopped working as a roofer in September to devote more time to the project.
“It has been a seven-day-a-week project,” said Andrew.
“You cannot come into this building and spend three or four evenings working on it, otherwise you will never finish.”
Andrew has received much interest on a Facebook discussion forum from the building, which has been used as a Sunday school and youth club during its history.
A bedroom, bathroom and flooring are yet to be finished, but when work is complete, the couple are planning to hold an open day for the public.
“I don’t think it’s the end of an era (for public use), but the building is taking on a new life,” Andrew added.
“I see it as the building being rescued and that it will not fall apart. I want people to know it has been brought back to life."
The renovations at the building, which will turn into Andrew and Nell’s new home, are due to be finished by November 2022.