Another church building is up for sale in Bude – Stratton.
According to the Church of England, around 20 churches are closed each year for worship. In places like Bude, Methodist churches seem to be dropping off the circuit. In 2019, the Methodist Church at Flexbury went on the market. The most recent one is currently on Right Move, which is the Stratton Methodist Church. This is listed as a ‘detached house’ and is “a church to convert, subject to planning”.
A Times article reckoned that more than 350 churches are at risk of closure by 2026.
The reasons are obvious, but it is still sad as these buildings form part of our culture and history. Congregation numbers are dwindling in many areas, and in rural areas, worshipper numbers are often in single figures. Buildings are often in a state of disrepair, so are uneconomic, while the pandemic certainly has not helped. Methodist churches cease to meet prior to closure. They were once the church of choice for so many Cornish people. There is a little about the history here.
Dilapidation is of no use to anyone but it would be lovely, one day, to see a defunct church used for community purpose. So, if anyone has a great idea and is up for it, the £150 million Community Ownership Fund is for communities across the United Kingdom. It has been set up to help communities take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of closure. Of course, such enterprise requires vision and much more. Round 2 of bidding starts in December.
We have a few church photos and articles in our local history section.