The date for a decision on whether or not to close a historic church has been set as its committee assesses the decision.
Holy Trinity Church on Godson Street in Coldhurst, which has served the community for 170 years, could close due to a number of long-standing issues, which have been made worse by the pandemic. The number of worshipers has declined in recent years and its reserve funds have remained “depleted”.
More than £ 50,000 is needed to pay for essential works in areas such as the east end wall and the choir ceiling.
In May, Reverend David Austin wrote a letter which stated, “Unfortunately, we are now seriously considering closing the church permanently.
“This is due to a number of long-term factors, but these have been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic which has closed our building for much of last year. Like many businesses and organizations in the region, we need to determine whether we can recover financially and digitally during a very difficult year.
“The number of our congregations has been declining for several years and is now in single digits for Sunday services.”
To stimulate interest, manager Barry Ratcliffe helped put down flyers to let people know about the situation and encourage them to use his services.
Reverend Austin said there had been an increase in baptism and baptism bookings as well as wedding vow renewals, but Sunday service attendance was still low.
The decision on whether or not to close the church is expected to be made by its committee on Sunday, October 31.
If the closure is approved, the Diocese of Manchester would then become involved in the long process, in which Sunday services are still expected to continue until after Easter next year.
But Reverend Austin still hopes that a way can be found to prevent the church from closing.
He added, “I really hope the church stays open, it provides a safe place for people and we can point visitors to particular agencies as well.”
The church, which is holding an autumn fair on Saturday, October 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to raise funds, also hopes to re-establish its Host Venue events subject to a financial boost on Wednesday, which has enabled people to meet and chat. before the pandemic.