The former boutique in Queen’s Court, Newark, that is being renovated and will become Newark Quaker Centre. 040117LSP3-1
The former boutique in Queen’s Court, Newark, that is being renovated and will become Newark Quaker Centre. 040117LSP3-1

Work to improve a religious group’s meeting place in Newark is on course to be completed in spring.

Renovations began at Newark Quaker Centre, Queen’s Court, in September.

The building was previously a fashion boutique and is being converted for use by the Quakers and other organisations.

There will be a meeting room upstairs and a reception area,  kitchen and toilet downstairs.

Mr Chris Rose, of Newark Quakers, said he was hoping the work would be finished by February or March.

“We have moved the stairs and put a stairlift in,” he said.

“We have opened up the upstairs so you can see the roof timbers.

“We are totally refurbishing the building, so hopefully it will look attractive and have a more welcoming appearance.

“After we get in we will still have some work to do in the yard. Then we will have an official opening in late spring.”

Mr Rose said a conservatory roof was being put over the courtyard at the back.

“This is so we can use it as part of our accommodation, put a few plants in there and make it an area people can use,” he said.

Newark Quakers have been meeting at Galerie, Kirkgate, during the renovations and before that met at Barnbygate Methodist Church.

The Newark meeting, which is part of the Lincolnshire area meeting of Quakers, was set up about six years ago.

Previously members from Newark would meet at either Brant Broughton, Nottingham or Lincoln.

'One of the few towns not to have a Quaker meeting'

The last reference to a Quaker meeting in Newark, before the meeting was relaunched, was in 1661.

Mr Rose, of Carlton-on-Trent, said: “It was one of the few towns of its size to not have a Quaker meeting.

“We had a lunchtime meeting in Newark and we came to a decision, six years ago, to launch a meeting in the town.

“We started off with just a few people and now we have around 20 members and we thought perhaps it was time to have our own base in Newark.

“We describe it as a Quaker centre in the hope that other groups and organisations can come and make use of it.”

The Quakers applied for listed building consent for work connected to the installation of a conservatory roof.

They want to attach lead flashing to the back of the adjacent Sir John Arderne pub, re-fill two old windows that were bricked in many years ago, and relocate a television aerial to the back of the pub.

Members of Newark Town Council’s planning committee had no objections to the work.

Newark and Sherwood District Council will decide the application.