NORWOOD Chapel and Retreat Centre is looking forward to a busy 2020 with renewed confidence.

The building, which overlooks Lindley Wood Reservoir, was at risk of closure just two years ago due to rising expenses.

But a major redevelopment, along with the formation of a Friends group, has put the church and centre on a firmer footing.

A number of successful fundraising events were held this year and the chapel has now announced a busy programme - both at Norwood and at Otley - for the next 12 months.

Norwood Management Committee says visitors can look forward to enjoying a wide variety of performances and talks.

Member John Burland said: “Following the very successful Folk Evening at Norwood last May, another one will be held on Saturday, March 14 featuring songstress Heather Woodhead, from Leeds, and also the Summercross band from Otley - led by former MP Greg Mulholland.

“A Quiet Day will be held on April 4 and then on Easter Monday, April 13 the first of the Bank Holiday Refreshment days will take place, hosted by members from Bramhope Methodist Church.

“Then on May 2 the Cantare Singers will be performing at Otley Methodist Church’s Wesley Hall to raise funds for Norwood. They are a four part, male and female choir based in Northampton.

“Formed more than 40 years ago, the group has about 45 members and sings for pleasure and to give pleasure to others, raising many thousands of pounds for good causes in the process.

“We will also be having Bank Holiday refreshments at Norwood on Friday, May 8 and Monday, May 25.”

Another Quiet Day will be held on Monday, June 22 and then in July the Together in Harmony Singers will perform to raise money for PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers).

One of the Kindtertransport children, meanwhile - Dr Martin Kappel, who came to Britain fron Nazi Germany as a child in 1939 - will talk about his experiences at the retreat centre on July 4.

The chapel, which opened in 1926, will celebrate its anniversary on August 23 with an afternoon service that will be led by Reverend Kerry Tankard, the Chair of Yorkshire West Methodist District, and Bank Holiday refreshments will be served on Monday, August 31.

Other events which are still being firmed up for next year include a talk by raconteur Malcolm Johnson, from Rawdon, about music, news and life in general in the Sixties.

And food lovers can look forward to a talk by Colin Alderson, who was the Head Pastry Chef to the Royal Family for many years, on Saturday, November 14.

The recent redevelopment involved removing the chapel’s pews to replace them with movable seating, extending and refurbishing the retreat centre’s kitchen and making the toilets fully accessible.