Future of shut down church still unknown

St Monica's Church, Mereside'Sent in by Ken Shenton, reader, for memory lane
St Monica's Church, Mereside'Sent in by Ken Shenton, reader, for memory lane
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The future of a Mereside church is up in the air as the last of its clubs move out.

St Monica’s Church, on St Monica’s Way, closed its doors in February due to lack of heating and the cost of repairs.

Blackpool scouts were allowed to stay on at the premises until alternative accommodation was found.

They have now moved 
to Tarnside Community Centre.

Reverend Robert Billing, of the Lancaster Diocese, which oversees St Monica’s Church, said the future of the building now rests in the hands of the church’s former members.

He said: “There will be a process of discussion about what to do with the church that is done by the members of the parish of St John Vianney and St Monica’s, and also the whole of Marton.

“The community that actually goes to the church and invests their time and money into that community will decide, with their priests, what will become of the 
building.

“St Monica’s was one of the smallest congregations of the diocese and it had significant health and safety needs that its very small community could not afford to address.

“The heating was shot. The roof needed replacing and in the end, with another church less than a mile away, it was decided that it couldn’t be justified pouring more money into the building.”

He added that the majority of St Monica’s congregation had relocated to the nearby St John Vianney Church on Glastonbury Avenue.

He said: “This situation is not uncommon.

“It does come up from time to time across the whole of the diocese.”