THE first phase of the project to restore Blandford Parish Church will be launched at an open day this weekend.
All are invited to the Church of St Peter and St Paul in the Market Place to see presentations on the multi-million pound project and to give their views on how the Grade I listed building might be adapted for use in the 21st century.
The structure, built to replace the original building destroyed in the Great Fire of 1731 and often described as the best Georgian church architecture outside London, is in desperate need of attention after generations of neglect, and the layout is ill-suited to present-day use, in particular by the disabled and for activities prevalent today.
The Cupola Project, so named because the finale is planned to be the restoration of the iconic cupola on top of the church tower, was originally launched two years ago, when church leaders announced that they would be working towards a ten-year £3 million restoration scheme.
Fundraising has continued since then, and there will be need of major grant support for what will include extensive structural work.
Project manager Sara Loch said: “We want to know how people feel it could be adapted and better used now and in the future.”
The open day takes place tomorrow from 10am to 4pm.