Bulldozers called in for Wigan church

A Wigan church building has held its final service after senior leaders approved a scheme for its demolition and sale.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 4:17 pm
St Peters Church in Bryn, which has been approved for closure and demolition by the diocese

St Peter’s Church in Bryn has been closed to worshippers for more than two years and the Diocese of Liverpool has now sent out a consultation plan for its bulldozing and offering the land to buyers as it is unfit for purpose.

The draft scheme says the building shall be declared closed for worship and will then be flattened before the site is sold off.

The Bishop of Liverpool approved the course of action as it has been decided that it is beyond the purse and scope of church authorities to bring the building back into use.

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The report says: “The rationale is that this parish church is no longer fit for purpose.

“Due to the poor condition of the building, worship at St Peter’s Church had to be suspended in May 2016.

“As the building is considered to be at the end of its useful life it is proposed that it should be demolished, with the cleared site being sold.”

The proposal is that the funds from selling the land should be set aside for three years to look at providing a new home for the congregation, which is currently meeting in a school, in the area.

If that cannot be done the funds will be split, with one-third going towards funding the Churches Conservation Trust and the other two-thirds heading for wider pastoral use in the diocese.

The draft will now head out to consultation and no date has been given for the official closure and demolition of the building, with the commissioners giving themselves some leeway on timeframes after people have had their say.

The building dates from the early 1960s and is a distinctive brick construction with reinforced concrete decks with asphalt for the roof.

The contents of it, which will be disposed of as guided by the bishop, include furniture from the early 1960s designed especially for the church, a carillion and keyboard, abstract stained glass and several war memorials.

Wigan Council had no observations to make other than requesting notification of demolition in advance.

It is hoped that in the ongoing shake-up of the Anglican Church the congregation will be part of a hub of four parishes.