Church closes after fall in worshippers
Norton Methodist Church has been forced into closure following a fall in the number of worshippers.
The Littleworth-based church building is set to be sold although the chairman of Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish Council hopes it can be preserved for community use rather than developed for housing.
The church’s Minister Rev Gary Molver explained: “Very sadly, this is mostly the result of dwindled numbers. This resulted in a lot being carried by the remaining few.
“Finances also, with reduced numbers, became a challenge. In addition, our circuit has no missional use for the property.
“The final straw was a building maintenance issue which, in view of the other factors, would not have been feasible to repair.”
He added that the aim was to sell the building, although he felt the regional church would be likely to support parish council chairman Kevin Fincher’s call for it to be used by the community.
During a meeting of the parish council, Mr Fincher said: “I, personally, have said to the Synod already it should be kept as a community asset in some form or other.
“Apparently it needs £10,000 spent on damp course.
“What, personally, I would hate to see is for it to be knocked down and a house put there. There must be something better we can do with it.”
He added that the parish council could look into having the church building registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), which would help protect its status.
He said the neighbouring Norton-juxta-Kempsey CofE Primary School was looking into buying the building.