Worksop residents joined members of the Worksop Priory and Gatehouse Community Trust for the official opening of the newly-restored Gatehouse Chapel on Monday 16 May.
The chapel, with a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, was built in 1390 with an entrance at each side so pilgrims could pass through. It is the only one of its kind to survive in England. The project to restore it has been managed by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and funded by WREN, Historic England, Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust.
The work on the chapel is the first step of an extensive programme that aims to restore the entire Gatehouse.
There was be a short thanksgiving service at 12 noon led by the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham and the Rt Revd Paul Williams with prayers to bless the Gatehouse Chapel and Shrine after the restoration work. It was the first time a service has been held there in four years.
Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham Rt. Revd Paul Williams who performed the service said, ‘There is no question that the Gatehouse is iconic for the community as part of its heritage, it’s one of the most obvious and significant images of Worksop. As a gatehouse what it symbolises for this church community is the wider community of Worksop, and the desire to welcome in people across the community. That’s why there’s been so much support to bring it back and to find a way to use it.’
Fran Walker, Vice Chair and a Director of the Worksop Priory and Gatehouse Community Trust, said, ‘It’s been amazing today to see how the Gatehouse has been celebrated. Regenerating the Gatehouse is important because it helps change perceptions of the area and helps raise people’s aspirations. There’s so much potential to use this place to help young people in the area. We really need to make this a multi-usage space – and the community has to have ownership of it, and bring their dreams and ideas towards the long term future of this wonderful historic building. That’s why we want to apply for a start-up grant now so we can explore the various options. That’s the next step.’