Race to complete The Manse makeover.
positive steps New minister Chris climbs a ladder to give a helping hand working together Golcar Baptist Church's new minister Chris Thompson (left) and church deacon Philip Ader
refit The Manse (right) next to the baptist church
Golcar church's new look
A TEAM of offenders are busy paying back their debt to the community by working for a Huddersfield church.
The Probation Service has provided 15 workers to refit The Manse belonging to Golcar Baptist Church.
They have installed windows, a new kitchen and central heating as well as plastering and plumbing the house before the arrival of the new minister, Chris Thompson, in October.
Church deacon Philip Ader has seen the men at work and makes coffee for them during their breaks.
He said: "They are great lads who are doing a fantastic job.
"I tend not to ask what they did in the past but one of them described his crime as 'a blip'."
The men have been working at weekends from 10am to 3.30pm for the past two months.
"It's a race against time and I'm not sure if the place will be ready by the deadline," said Mr Ader, who lives in nearby Brook Lane.
The Manse hasn't been worked on for 27 years.
"It needed an upgrade. It's a huge undertaking," said Mr Ader, 67, who has worshipped at the church for nearly 40 years.
The workers have also chopped down trees in the church graveyard.
Golcar has been without a minister since the Rev Michael Smith retired in July 2005. Lay ministers have led the services for the past year.
But 31-year-old Mr Thompson and his wife Michelle are due to arrive in October.
Mr Thompson, who studied at the Northern Baptist College in Manchester, has worked as a student minister at Moortown in Leeds and Normanton in Wakefield.
He will be ordained as a minister at Normanton church on September 23.
Mr Thompson will meet his new congregation at Golcar on October 7 at 3pm. Anyone wishing to attend should call Christine Ader on 01484 655942.