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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Deal struck to buy iconic Christ Church for £65,000

Maryport's iconic Christ Church is on the verge of being sold.

BEING SOLD: Maryport’s Christ Church

The harbourside church, which has been closed for about a year, is being bought by a woman from outside Cumbria for £65,000.

Contracts have been exchanged and the sale is expected to be completed in March, said estate agents Hyde Harrington.

It is not yet known what the buyer, whose identity has not been revealed, intends to do with the building.

Dr Richard Pratt, archdeacon of West Cumberland, said: “Everybody in the church in Maryport will be really sad that we couldn’t sustain it.

“There are three Church of England churches in what is not a very big town.

“Christ Church is only 100 yards from St Mary’s and no organisation could sustain that.

“The building is much loved by the people of Maryport. It’s really good that someone will take the building forward.”

Christ Church was closed last January when the heating system failed and there was concern about its wiring, electrics and the roof.

A decision was taken a month later by the Parochial Church Council of St Mary with Christ Church to permanently close it because of the mounting repair costs.

The most urgent repairs, which would have allowed the church to open, were estimated at more than £110,000.

The parochial council said the congregation was unable to generate enough income to cover further running costs, and the church was put on the market last May.

Built in 1872, it has featured in paintings by artist LS Lowry and is used on postcards and photographs of the town.

A petition was launched by Alan Hayton, of Grasslot, last year to try to save the church.

Maryport Maritime Museum wanted the church to be given listed status, but Janet Lowden, Church of England Carlisle Diocesan registrar, said her interpretation was that the church would not be regarded as suitable for inclusion in a list of assets of community value.

Dawn Williamson, manager of the Carlton indoor market at the town’s former cinema, had also wanted to move the business into the church building, but Allerdale council said permission was unlikely because there were empty shops in the town.

Angela Kendall, Allerdale and town councillor for Maryport, said: “I would rather see it being used for something than it just sitting there.”

George Kemp, Allerdale councillor for Maryport, said: “A lot of people are passionate about keeping it open. I hope they don’t alter the structure.”

Peter Kendall, Maryport town councillor, said: “It’s terribly important that the interior and external design is maintained and preserved.”

Have your say

There's no Wetherspoons in Maryport yet, so watch this space as they say. At least they would bring the crowds back in, jobs & training for locals. Give the church a desperately-needed new lease of life. Also the spire bit would make a good indoor climbing wall. Just sayin.

Posted by Claire Voyant on 12 February 2014 at 19:22

Alas it's a sign of the times, a Church for sale, I have yet to see a Mosque for Sale here in the Middle East ( I live and work in Doha - Dubai but a Maryport Lad through and through ) I am neither I believer nor a non- believer but whenever I am home on leave I went down to Christ Church to say a simple prayer for My Brother who passed away 3 years ago, @ the time, & @ at very short notice the Vicar, Sue, made arrangements for Me and My Family / Friends to have a Sermon, wonderful memories of Christ Church, I sincerely hope the new owner, whoever it maybe, doesn't make it into Flats and fill it with undesirables, it deserves better, however whoever has bought it can do what they like with it, Christ Church R.I.P

Posted by Kevin Winn on 23 January 2014 at 14:36

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