Firm keen to buy historic Alexandria church

An Alexandria church – which closed its doors last year – has a prospective buyer after being put on the market for £170,000.

B-listed St Mungo’s Episcopal Church on Main Street shut in August and looks set to be reinvigorated.

Scottish Episcopal Church Diocese of Glasgow has submitted an application for formal listed building consent to West Dunbartonshire Council for permission to remove large fittings from the building ahead of its sale.

In planning documents, the Diocese say the interested buyer is “a business that requires a large simple space”.

The traditional red sandstone church is being marketed for sale by DM Hall in Glasgow for offers in the region of £170,000, with the website listing stating it is now under offer.

It’s described as a potential development opportunity, subject to consent.

The Diocese requires formal permission to remove large items, including the organ and main altar, from the church, which was built in 1895 after being designed by JM Crawford and listed as category B in 1996.

The large free standing ecclesiastical fittings are set to be re-used in other churches.

A planning statement states it has an interested buyer, explaining: “The church building is under offer and the prospective purchasers do not require or intend to retain ecclesiastical furnishings.

“The prospective buyers are a business that requires a large simple space and it will be their responsibility to seek any formal consents.”

The contents of the church, which closed down on August 29, are currently being cleared out.

The planning statement, prepared by a diocese architect, explains: “All items being re-located are free standing or portable, however several heavier items may be considered fixtures due to their size and weight, and according to the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) ecclesiastical exemption guidance, this may now require formal listed building consent as the use of the building is no longer for church worship.

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“The items that might be considered in this category are the organ, the main altar, two choir pews and font.

“The church diocese have no plans for any alterations to the building fabric or structure or grounds and setting of the listed building.

“The church building is in the process of being sold on the open market and the SEC Diocese are making arrangements for the relocation of the ecclesiastical furnishings and fixtures to other churches within the diocese and where necessary will be under the supervision and control of the Bishop and diocesan property committee with the formal Canon 35 permission process.

“The diocese has produced an inventory and will offer all items for use in other churches in the diocese on a first come, first served basis.

“There is a tradition of sharing and re-using church furnishings and most items will find suitable new homes.”

The majority of the furnishings in the church are not original to St Mungo’s and have been given to the church.

HES has responded to the plans stating it does not have any comments to make on the proposals.

It stated: “Our decision not to provide comments should not be taken as our support for the proposals.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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