Redundant Churches

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th December 2004.

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Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice Labour, Pendle 2:30 pm, 6th December 2004

How many redundant churches have been converted to other uses in each of the last three years.

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

Thirteen in 2001, 28 in 2002 and 30 in 2003.

Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice Labour, Pendle

These are significant figures. It is always sad when churches close because the congregations go away and disperse, but are there any inappropriate uses to which those redundant churches will not be put? Can my hon. Friend give me some examples?

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

That is a double negative. First, the use of redundant churches must be by another Christian body or for wider community purposes that are generally regarded as most suitable. In terms of the second negative, the commissioners usually impose covenants on the new owner of a redundant church, restricting its use to that approved under statute and prohibiting any unauthorised architectural or structural alterations, demolition and the disturbance of human remains.