Church hall closure fears

Armistice Day service at Fleetwood's Marine Hall.  Pictured is Rev Martin Keighley.

Armistice Day service at Fleetwood's Marine Hall. Pictured is Rev Martin Keighley.

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A church hall used by a number of different community groups is under threat after insurers deemed it was not up to scratch.

St Chad’s church hall, on Vicarage Road, in Poulton, may be forced to close its doors in October if the money can’t be found to repair parts of its structure.

A letter has been sent by Rev Martin Keighley, vicar of St Chad’s, to both parishioners and groups who used the church informing them of the possibility that the building may close down.

Rev Keighley told The Gazette: “We’ve got a difficult decision to make as a church council in the near future.

“Our insurers have said our public liability will be withdrawn unless we can provide them with a plan to address the structural problems with the building.

“Some people will be

surprised and some will be disappointed.

“Many users of the hall will inevitably be disappointed.

“I thought in fairness I ought to share with them the difficult choice the church is facing.

“I’ve asked for people to pray for the church council as they seek the right way forward.”

The insurer has told the church that work must be undertaken on the hall’s tower and rear wall, which Rev Keighley says will cost a “considerable sum of money”.

The hall is currently used by the church’s branch of the Mothers’ Union and Sunday school.

“It is also used by a number of outside organisation including amateur dramatics group Chaddeans, as well as Zumba, dance, keep fit and

karate classes.

A decision on the hall’s future is expected to be made by the church council by mid-October at the latest.

Rev Keighley added: “The tower area and rear wall of the building are the main problems that present themselves.

“No-one relishes closing the building but on the other hand we can’t have an open chequebook.

“We have a difficult balancing act to make as a church.”