AN historic church on Lord Street will be put on the market due to declining numbers in the congregation – but committee members would prefer the place of worship to remain “for the benefit of the community.”
St George’s United Reformed Church, which first opened in 1869 and is a Grade II listed building, will close “most likely” in April next year.
The ministers and elders who manage the church hope that a community group or organisation can come forward and offer a “fair price” to take over both the church and the hall.
However, if no deal can be agreed, then it would be offered at the “highest price for development.” Church secretary Neil Mackenzie said: “It is with sadness that the church members have decided that we will be ceasing worship at the church, most likely on 23rd April 2023, because of declining numbers in the congregation. When this happens, the trustee of the building (the United Reformed Church (Mersey Province) Trust Limited) will take possession with a view to disposal.
“In the meantime, the elders are making the closure publicly known with a view to ascertaining whether there is an organisation or group of organisations who would be interested in taking over the buildings (the church building and the church hall at the rear) for the benefit of the community at a fair price.
“If proposals were forthcoming from the community, the elders meeting would be keen to put them to the trustee for consideration as a suitable legacy from the church to the town.
“If it turns out that there is no interest, the buildings will be disposed of by the trustee on best terms, which usually means highest price for development. The church would regret this happening if there had been an opportunity for community use which had not been explored. This is why we are making our closure widely known now.”