INTERNET users can now surf the web for just £1 an hour while raising funds towards a £10m restoration project at a city centre church.
The historic St Peter’s Church at The Cross aims to become a low cost communications centre with proceeds going to its sister church St John’s which needs repairs to its crumbling stone-work and rotten roof.
Four computers within St Peter’s existing cafe will offer internet access for an introductory price of £1 an hour until mid-December.
If successful, the project will be expanded into a community IT and learning centre, using under-utilised space without affecting the fabric of the building.
Michael Bartlett, project director of ŠSt John’s & St Peter’s ŠHeritage Project (SJP), said: “This is a fantastic experience for people to come in to this wonderful building dating back to 907AD.
“IT@The Cross is designed to put St Peter’s at the heart of the city, as it was in the 13th century as a town hall and back as the original Roman Principia.”
Michael, who manages PC World, said Chester suffers from a lack of low-cost internet access, as commercial outlets can charge about £3 an hour. Chester library provides free access for one hour a day, only to members leaving many people, especially tourists, without the opportunity to log on.
The 48th Chester Scout Group has already volunteered to come in one Saturday a month to provide an IT Buddies day.
St Peter’s is already used as a successful Fairtrade café. SJP hopes visitors to the centre will take advantage of the new internet service.
Anyone wanting to get involved with the project can visit: www.parishofchester.com/help or leave a message on 01244 403 634.