Call to help buy empty Telford church

An empty Telford church which is for sale could be saved as a public asset if residents rally together to find the £120,000 needed to buy it, it was claimed today.

Community organiser Leigh Ricketts, right, trainee community organiser Kathryn MacDonald and local resident Bill Kirby, launching the appeal to keep All Saints Church, Stirchely, as a community resource
Community organiser Leigh Ricketts, right, trainee community organiser Kathryn MacDonald and local resident Bill Kirby, launching the appeal to keep All Saints Church, Stirchely, as a community resource

All Saints Church in Stirchley, Telford, is currently on the open market. But Leigh Ricketts, who works with Locality, a body which supports and advises community groups, said it was hoped local people could buy the building and run it themselves.

He said: “The area has a high level of deprivation and what they haven’t got in Stirchley is a community building.

“It’s up for £120,000. I know that seems like a lot of money but it’s the size of a supermarket.

“It’s 3,000 square feet. We want people to think about the potential it could hold as a social enterprise, a community venue, a small business, anything.

“The other people looking at buying it are restaurants, takeaways or the land will be bulldozed.

Mr Ricketts added: “No-one is going to buy the building for the people of the community. I want them to see that once it’s gone it’s gone.”

The former church on Grange Avenue includes a central congregational hall with number of large function rooms, small offices, administration rooms, a kitchen and canteen area and car parking.

It has planning permission for non-residential institutions, including clinics, creches, day centres and museums.

Mr Ricketts added: “If we can get enough people interested we can form a residents’ group and help them to find funding through sources like the National Lottery.”

He is hoping to create a working group to investigate ways of finding the funding needed to save the church and look at possible uses for the building.

Anyone interested should call Mr Ricketts on 07860 781098.

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Comments for: "Call to help buy empty Telford church"

Rob, Telford

Interesting - the church centre is about 20 feet away from The Sambrook Centre, Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council's headquarters which also offers community facilities - has anyone asked if more facilities are needed in the area?

'Locality' - the organisation mentioned in your article - is a government contractor paid to deliver 'The Big Society'.

Any chance of some investigative journalism from the Star?

De

Demolish it.

It's a blot on the landscape.

Stitirchley has Lord Silkin a state of the art facility equipped with best possible halls, technology and community areas. Infact everything a community could possibly want is already in place in Stirchley, including library and office space.

Chris

Another 'area with high level of deprivation' so says 'Locality' sounds like they have taken advice from Malinslee Cllrs who have claimed millions on this premise and still they use the 'deprivation' card-if impoverishment is still prevalent after 40yrs its clear the millions invested have failed to effect change. Stop spending our money on electioneering. Purchase new technology equipment for new Phoenix instead of installing old used council cast offs and buy new desks instead of making the pupils carry their old ones from old Phoenix.