Express & Star

Second World War church in Wolverhampton that was ‘symbol of hope’ up for auction

A former Methodist Church that became a “symbol of hope” when it was built at the start of the Second World War is coming up in Bond Wolfe’s next online auction.

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Fordhouses Methodist Church

The Fordhouses Methodist Church, which stands on a site of around 0.68 acres at 144a Winchester Road, Wolverhampton, will have a guide price of more than £195,000 in the livestreamed auction on December 14.

The property was built in the late 1930s on an allotment donated by W S Kidson, a respected businessman and local Methodist preacher in Wolverhampton.

Former parishioner and amateur local historian George Hawthorne described how the church was opened on Thursday, July 25 1940 and became “a symbol of hope for the future”, as most manpower and materials were directed to "the war effort" at the time.

He wrote: “Despite the blackout, bombing raids, rationing and many other inconveniences the church never once failed to open for worship.

“Our Women's Fellowship, which [until recently met] on Tuesday afternoons, began in 1940, and part of our premises were commandeered to set up a health clinic. Even after it closed, many residents in Fordhouses referred to our church as 'the clinic'.”

Gurpreet Bassi, chief executive at Bond Wolfe, said: “This vacant freehold property is located on an irregular shaped site measuring approximately 0.68 acres and which may be suitable for a variety of alternative uses or development, subject to planning consents.

“The former single storey church premises stand back from the road behind a long driveway and include a main hall, sanctuary, vestry, study, cloakroom, choir changing room, stores, classroom, kitchen, lounge, male and female toilets and substantial car park.”

Mr Bassi explained that asbestos is present in part of the property and that all interested parties can view the asbestos report within the legal pack.

He added: “Due to the condition of this lot, we advise that appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn when viewing the property, and a torch will be required. Viewers must take extreme care and access is at the viewer's own risk.”

The former Fordhouses Methodist Church is just one of the lots that are appearing in Bond Wolfe’s property auction, which will start at 9am.