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Bideford church goes up for sale

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: July 12, 2012

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A BIDEFORD church which has not been worshipped in for ten years could become a community hub now that it has been put up for sale.

St Peter's Church in East-the-Water was built 130 years ago but, due to declining congregation numbers and difficult access, services were stopped in the building.

All services are now held in St Mary's Church.

Following a consultation with the Diocese of Exeter, Bideford's parish team has put the building on the open market.

The churchwarden at St Mary's, Ro Day, said: "We took all worship elements from St Peter's a few years ago, like the statues, bibles and altar.

"Congregation numbers had fallen to very low numbers and it has just not been viable to keep it on.

"There is no parking and it is on such a steep bend it has caused problems in the past.

"This is the beginning of the process and so far we have been in the process of preparing for the sale for 18 months.

"Last year we dedicated a chapel in St Mary's to St Peter's so its memory won't be forgotten."

Currently the church is used most days by a fitness group.

Andrew Levick, from Phillips, Smith and Dunn the estate agents dealing with the sale, said: "We are looking for sensible offers.

"We need the buyer to accept the liability which comes with the site such as maintaining the high wall which drops onto Torrington Lane.

"We have a viewer booked for Thursday (today).

"It cannot be turned into a residential site until the planning requirements are changed on it by Torridge District Council, but this won't happen until it is necessary and we are advertising for community purposes."

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