A public meeting is being held later this month to discuss the fate of one of Chester’s oldest church buildings.
Ongoing maintenance issues, including a failed electrical inspection, has forced St Paul’s in Boughton to hold its services in next door’s Campbell Hall, because the congregation cannot afford to pay for the repairs.
The site also has massive accessibility issues and a lack of parking, but despite ‘strenuous’ efforts by parishioners to find ways of generating extra income, the 140-year-old building’s future is still under threat.
A public meeting has now been arranged to make Boughton residents more aware of the situation, as well as invite discussion on the building’s future, which will be held in Campbell Hall on Thursday, April 16 at 7.30pm.
The Rev Steve Pendlebury wrote in this month’s Huntington and Boughton Handbook that there is a ‘real possibility’ the church will have to ask the diocese and church commissioners to permanently close the building as a place of worship.
“There seems little point in trying to raise money for the capital work that is needed, including a complete re-wire, new roof and new heating system, if new ways of generating ongoing regular extra income from the site cannot be found,” he said.
“Strenuous efforts have been made since April 2014 to find ways of doing this but so far nothing has come to light. The meeting is an opportunity for local residents, businesses, schools and council representatives, along with members of the church congregation, clergy and representatives from other churches in the area to raise any concerns and to make their views known.
“St Paul’s is the people who gather, not a building, and the church will continue to provide ministry to the parish from wherever it is located. The future of the church is not in doubt, just the future of the old church building,” he added.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to express your views, email the church office ahead of the meeting - firstname.lastname@example.org.