AN iconic Dudley church is now reopen to the public following a extensive makeover, just in the time for the festive season.

Work began on St Thomas and St Luke, more commonly known as Top Church, six months ago to make the space more welcoming to families and to create an events space for the town.

The makeover of the inside of the church is now complete and the congregation returned to their church last Sunday, December 1 for Advent.

Reverend James Treasure said the changes, which cost around £400,000, have made the 200-year-old church even more "beautiful".

He said: "The most striking thing is the pews have been removed and we have renovated the most significant ones which are now round the side of the building.

"We now have two new side rooms, one for welcome area and the other for creche for children.

"It makes the building even more beautiful, I look up and think it’s a lot better space."

The Church of England has ploughed £2.5 million into the church to make it more sustainable for the future through funding more staff and events, after dwindling congregation sizes meant it was under threat of closure.

The effect of the extra money is already being felt, with the congregation growing from a low of ten people last year, to over 100 today, according to Rev Treasure.

Services have been taking place across the road in Provision House for the past six months while the renovations have been taking place.

The congregation held a thanksgiving service in the building last Sunday before making a candlelit pilgrimage over to the church where a communion service was held, a moment Rev Treasure said was "really moving and special."

Full services resume for worshippers on Sunday, December 8 and will take place every Sunday at 4pm.

Rev Treasure said the later services make it easier for families to get involved and the congregation share a meal together after the service.

Festive events taking place at Top Church in December include carols by candlelight on December 15 at 4pm and a Christingle service on December 22 at 4pm.