Residents in a Moorlands village state they have been “taken aback” by news that a chapel is set to be sold. A notice has recently been pinned to the Kingsley Holt Chapel door indicating that the Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit has decided that the building and land are to be sold.
Residents in a Moorlands village state they have been “taken aback” by news that a chapel is set to be sold.
A notice has recently been pinned to the Kingsley Holt Chapel door indicating that the Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit has decided that the building and land are to be sold.
The notice, dated May 27, states: “Notice is hereby given under the Charities Act 2011 that it is proposed to dispose of Kingsley Holt Methodist Church, Churnet Valley Road, Kingsley Holt.
“Representations in connection with the disposal may be made to the Managing Trustees of the Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit within four weeks from the date of this notice.
“Such representation will be taken into consideration if they are made within that time in connection with the proposed disposition.”
The chapel was built on donated land in the 1930s and residents say that it has “over the past 85 years benefited greatly from the support of the local community, both physical and financial” and that “many villagers have spent valuable time and materials to maintain and make improvements to the building.
In recent years the Chapel Friends have raised over £5,000 and Kingsley Holt Community Fund has donated over £20,000 for various projects from 1996 to date.
The building has over the years become a focal point in the village, for weekly worship, Christenings, Funerals, Christmas celebrations and the occasional wedding.
Additionally, the attached meeting room was used for a range of social activities, many focused on the younger members of the community.
The chapel closed for weekly religious services in 2019, although the meeting room remained in ongoing use.
A group of Chapel Friends entered into negotiation with representatives from the Circuit Meeting. The Chapel Friends state that they believe that “a combination of rent from the hire of the room and charitable monies raised locally, could largely pay the ongoing running costs of the building.”
Chairman of the Kingsley Holt Chapel Friends, John Hodgshon, said: “The building has been in existence since the mid-1930s, for many years it has been a key part of Kingsley Holt village life.
“Whilst accepting that the chapel closed for religious use in 2019, the attached meeting room still plays an important part in many aspects of village life.
“There is much enthusiasm in the village to retain the meeting room for community use at no significant cost to the Methodist Chapel.
“Even at this late stage we are hopeful that they (the Methodist Church) will change their mind on their decision to sell the building.”
The Times & Echo contacted the Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit for a response regarding the notice which has been put in place on the chapel.
Reverend Julie Hassall, Superintendent of the Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit, said: “The Methodist Church, like every other organisation faces unprecedented challenges as it emerges from the last 15 months.
“Many of our buildings require significant investment not just in terms of ongoing costs but of maintenance and improvement.
“This, alongside our legal responsibilities under Charity Commission Regulation has led us to review the future for many of our buildings.
“In doing so we acknowledge the thriving of Kingsley Holt Methodist Church over years gone by and we celebrate the fact that community engagement has been so central to that life.
“We give thanks for those who maintained the worshipping life of the chapel until the summer of 2019, and as we invite representations within 28 days of May 27, 2021 in connection with the proposed disposition of the property.”
Anyone wishing to make representation with regards to the proposed disposal of Kingsley Holt Chapel can do so by writing to: Managing Trustees of Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit, c/o Tean Methodist Church Office, Gorsty Hill Road, Tean. ST10 4EQ.
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