Culture and worship come together in Leeds church

A Leeds church is set to reopen for business after a major refurbishment to create a flexible space for worship and community events.

Holy Trinity, Boar Lane, hopes its location next to the newly opened £350m Trinity Shopping Centre will encourage people to pop in and find out more about the church and its regular events and services.

The refurbishment included improving the cafe and kitchen, replacing the Victorian pews with flexible seating, levelling floors and making the building more wheelchair accessible.

The aim was to create a "quiet space" that would offer a place to worship and an area for arts events to flourish.

Holy Trinity is home home to the Pioneer Minister to the Night Time Economy, who acts as a church presence in the city's bars and nightclubs.

When the church reopens on Easter Day on 31 March, a new Anglican church, the Riverside church, will take over the building for a service of celebration at 10:30am. The service includes baptisms by full immersion led by the Pioneer Minister to new communities in Leeds, the Reverend James Barnett.

With the church reopening, midweek services are planned as well as a full programme of cultural events in the run-up to its dedication by the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds on 24 May.

Ann Nicholl, a lay minister in the City team ministry, said: "Re-ordering our building recalls us to the gospel imperative of costly and risk-taking discipleship, with mission and ministry being at the heart of our offering."

As well as being an active church, Holy Trinity has for the last 10 years been home to Arts@Trinity, which exists to nurture new talent in the arts, drama and music.

Arts@Trinity will remain at the church, where it will continue to run a wide range of cultural events, from workshops, concerts and exhibitions, to film screenings and lectures.

"Holy Trinity Church is a unique and wonderful place to perform or exhibit," says Director of Arts@Trinity, John Dawson.

"The acoustic makes it ideal for music events, its structure for exhibitions, its atmosphere for drama, and it is this fact that draws audience and performers alike.

"But Holy Trinity is still a hidden gem that is there to be discovered. Many people who come for the first time are amazed that it exists in the centre of Leeds. Those who come regularly, love it."

The church will reopen on Friday at 7.00pm with an exhibition by photographer Barry Payling and an installation created by students from Leeds College of Art.