A 111-year-old Catholic church at Stapenhill faces being bulldozed - but could be saved after being put up for sale for £200,000.

The Holy Rosary Church, which is fully alarmed for security, is at risk of demolition and may be turned into a housing development due to dwindling congregation numbers and rising maintenance costs.

The Edwardian church, in Main Street, Stapenhill, has been placed on the market for £200,000 - less than a week after the Burton Mail revealed it would close within three months, having reduced its services to just one mass a week.

The building is being marketed by Burton-based estate agents Rushton Hickman who have confirmed the building could be demolished and the site turned into housing.

However, other uses for the building will also be considered, the estate agents have said.

A spokesman said: "From verbal inquiries of the local planning authority we understand that other uses to be considered are offices, a children’s day nursery or other leisure uses, subject to application. It may also be possible to demolish the existing church to create a residential development site."

Holy Rosary Church, Main Street, Stapenhill
Picture: GOOGLE STREET VIEW Holy Rosary Church, Main Street, Stapenhill

The estate agent has since confirmed the building is not listed. Nor is it in a conservation area. However, it is a consecrated building but can be 'desacralised' through a religious ceremony.

On the Holy Rosary Church website, it says: "Of standard design for the date (1907), the building is not of special architectural or historic interest, but contributes to the historic character of the area and is outwardly little-altered."

Philip Hickman, of Rushton Hickman, said: "We have already had some interest from religious groups and other people.

"It would make a decent hall for suitable uses. It could also be used for community use in the sense of trading with the local community.

"I am always amazed at the new ideas people have in what they want to do with the building.

"It is a beautiful little building."

It was previously revealed that the church was struggling against the success of nearby Catholic churches in Winshill and Swadlincote – all three of which are officiated by the same priest, Father John Paul Leonard.

The church attracts just 40 people to its only weekly mass on Saturday evenings. In comparison, Winshill's St Joseph's Church, in Mount Street, attracts more than 80 people to each of its masses at 9am and 5pm on Sundays, and more than 100 at St Peter and Paul's Church, in Newhall Road, Swadlincote at 11am on a Sunday. Both also hold masses throughout the week.

It was decided to close Holy Rosary following a recent building survey which would see its upkeep costing between £5,000 and £10,000 per annum over the next 20 years.

Holy Rosary Church, Main Street, Stapenhill
Holy Rosary Church could be demolished to make way for a housing development

Father Leonard said the sum was too costly for a church which was only open once a week.

Holy Rosary Primary School, in Alexandra Road, on the edge of Winshill and Stapenhill, will still celebrate Feast Day masses in school with Father Leonard. It will convert into an academy on September 1 this year.

Other churches in the area which have closed:

Holy Rosary is not the first place of worship in the Burton area to face an uncertain future.

Swadlincote Methodist church and adjoining church hall, in West Street, were recently sold at auction, along with the graveyard.

Meanwhile, a former church in a village on the outskirts of Burton whose foundation stone was laid by the grandfather of the disgraced leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, will be turned into a home after a dwindling congregation forced its closure.

Rolleston Methodist Church, in Chapel Lane, will be converted into a five-bedroom home after plans to preserve the building for community use failed to reach fruition.

And another church which became victim of a dwindling congregation will also be turned into a family home.

The Stanhope Bretby Methodist Church, in Bretby Road East, Bretby, was recently purchased at auction for £77,000 and now plans have been approved to turn it into a three-bedroom home. The proposals also include an extension to the former church.

The Trinity Methodist and United Reformed Church, in George Street, Burton, closed in 2011 due to unaffordable maintenance costs and a declining congregation. It later reopened as The Trinity, a licensed cafe bar with adjacent businesses.