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Appeal launched for historic church facing closure amid £500k repairs

By Luke Bartlett | Dudley | News | Published:

A church which has stood in Dudley for nearly 180 years could close as it faces £500,000 worth of repairs.

Reverend Guy Hewlett with members of the congregation

St Peter’s Church in Kent Street, Upper Gornal, is in need of the cash for repairs to its stonework and roof – an amount its congregation of 60 members is struggling to raise.

Reverend Guy Hewlett said losing the church – built in 1844 – would be a ‘devastating blow’ for its members and said urgent action was needed.

Rev Hewlett said: “The church is in need of a fair amount of stone work and work to the roof. The sum total we need is estimated at £500,000 over the next 10 to 20 years.

“Our biggest challenge is that we only have 60 regular members and we do not have that sort of money.

The church needs £500,000 of repairs

“The church is locally listed but not nationally. We are in this really difficult position where we do not have the money to put the church back where it needs to be.

“For the members of the church it would be a devastating blow if we lost it. People are genuinely concerned.

"There is a natural worry that we will lose the building and we know there is a worry in the community. Families who worship at the church go back generations.”

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Parishioners from Upper Gornal have been invited to a public meeting on June 9 to discuss the future of the building.

Adam Aston, ward councillor for Upper Gornal and Woodsetton, said: “It would be absolutely disastrous to lose such an iconic place of worship. St Peter’s has been part of Upper Gornal life for many, many years.

“It would be a great shame to lose St Peter’s because it is part of the heart of Upper Gornal.”

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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