A FORMER church in a pretty seaside village has been put up for sale with planning permission to make it into a luxury family home.
Alnmouth Methodist Church in Northumberland closed last year when dwindling congregations led to it being merged with another methodist chapel in the village.
Estate agents George F White secured planning permission for the building, which dates back to the late 19th Century, to be converted into a four-bedroom home.
Made up of a single-storey chapel with chancel, plus a former school room and vestry, the church is now on the market for offers over £200,000, though buyers would also have to fund conversion work.
Estate agent Simon Brierley said: “It was until last year a working church. There was another methodist church in the village, so it was surplus to requirements.
“We advised the church and applied for planning permission. Now we’ve got detailed permission for a change of use to what should be a nice four-bedroom dwelling.
“It’s got some really nice features, with a high roof space that will accommodate mezzanine floors and big staircases. There’s permission for four bedrooms, a big open plan dining and kitchen area and there’s quite a bit of space to the front for car parking plus gardens to the front and back.
“As in so many cases like this, there is a dwindling congregation and big up-keep costs, and where there are two churches with the same denomination, it makes sense to come together.
“Alnmouth continues to be a very popular place to live, and we were pleased that we managed to get the building for housing. It would be nice to see it as a family home rather than holiday use as so many properties are in the village.”
Alnmouth parish councillor George Ternent has been a parishioner at the church for nearly 50 years.
He said: “We’ve got two methodist chapels in the village and that was the bigger one. We’re still able to use the smaller church so it made sense to sell that one.
“It’s a beautiful building and the outside of the church is not going to change. We’ve hoping to have a final service there at the end of March.
“After that, it should be a beautiful house.”
The former church will be the latest of many in the North East to be converted into a home.
Last year, the former church at nearby Felton was sold off and converted while methodist churches at Gosforth and Allenheads, Northumberland, have been closed and sold off. Other disused churches in the region have been turned into offices, restaurants and shops in recent years.