LOCAL Freemasons in Ross-on-Wye have transformed the former Methodist Church in Edde Cross Street to become both a masonic hall and a community centre.

Having been based in the former British and Foreign Schools building in Wilton Road for the last 95 years, the masons decided that building was no longer fit for purpose and prohibitively expensive to renovate and subsequently sold the property.

However, after seeing the potential of the Methodist Church building, which was built in 1972 on the site of previous church founded in 1867, the Freemasons were successful in obtaining the property last summer and began transforming it into its lodge.

Over the intervening months improvements were made to adapt it for its future dual-purpose use with a number of updates being included.

And now that this work is essentially complete, the Freemasons wish to make parts of the building available to other community groups, where possible, for their recurring meetings.

The space available consists of a meeting room and a club room with tables and chairs being available in both rooms, while the venue also offers kitchen and toilet facilities and a bar area.

Although an open day is planned for later in the year, when all will be invited to visit the new masonic hall to see what it offers.

Freemasonry has been active in Ross since 1813 promoting its principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, and at the forthcoming open day people will be able to learn more about the work that Freemasons do for the local community.

The local ecumenical partnership for Christ Church, a partnership between the United Reformed and Methodist churches, closed the church at the end of August 2022 because it was financially unsustainable.

Any group interested in sharing the Hall’s facilities is invited to contact Martin on 07931 749073 in the first instance to discuss availability and rates of hire, both of which will inevitably be dependent on the type and frequency of use, and to make arrangements to view the premises before the planned open day.