Fury at plan to sell off historic church

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Members of a Blackpool church have vowed to fight plans to sell the building.

They slammed proposals to sell off the old Blackpool Spiritualist Church building, on Albert Road, which is home to local mediums who use the halls several times a week.

Church member Susan Bagnall, 64, said: “I have been going to Blackpool Spiritualist Church for 15 years. It’s got a fantastic history. It was one of the first spiritualist churches in England.

“It would be wrong to shut it down. It’s just not right.

“We really do believe that together as a town we can save the church.”

The Blackpool Spiritual Church was founded in 1896. It provides spiritual services on Mondays and Sundays with a range of different mediums.

A notice given to church members and seen by The Gazette read: “That the premises at 71 Albert Road, Blackpool, to be sold in accordance with a marketing and valuation report from an independent chartered surveyor.”

It said the building the church occupies is ‘no longer fit for purpose’, and ‘a more modern building with parking places (should) be purchased’.

Graham Hewitt, property co-ordinator at the Spiritualist National Union, which oversees the church, said that members of the church would be able to have their say on the proposals at an upcoming meeting.

He said: “It’s up to the members to approve these plans, not us.”

He added that, should the building be sold, it would be up to the new owners to decide what to do with it.

Church member Kathy Murphy, 50, said: “Everybody who has spoken to us said they would do anything to save the church because it’s an iconic Blackpool building.

“We go to the church to see the different mediums. It’s like a community. We all bond together. It’s a friendly amosphere and we can sit and chill out with people.”