A former Methodist church in Swadlincote, complete with adjoining church hall and three shops next door, has fetched £200,000 at auction.
SDL Auctions Graham Penny sold the Methodist church, which is situated in West Street, earlier this week and the property, which has now been taken on by a mystery buyer, is expected to turn it into homes.
The church was on the market for a guide price of £160,000 and included the adjoining burial ground, and church organ which is still in situ in the building.
A spokesman for the auctioneers described it as "a very rare and exciting opportunity to acquire a former detached Methodist church with an adjoining church hall".
It is located to the rear of 10-14 West Street and incorporates three retail units with living space above. There is also vehicular access to the rear of Market Street.
The property is set on a site of approximately 0.388 acres and also includes the adjoining church burial ground. The church hall used to house the Sunday school.
The original church is believed to have been a chapel erected by Wesleyan Methodists in 1816, which was subsequently enlarged in or around 1823, and further enlarged in 1837, then subsequently rebuilt in 1863.
The building includes a pulpit and two storage rooms and a toilet, along with storage space and a room accommodating the organ.
Other plans for churches
Swadlincote Methodist Church is not the first place of worship to face a new future.
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, could be turned into a home after a dwindling congregation forced its closure. Rolleston Methodist Church, in Chapel Lane, could be converted into a five-bedroom home after plans to preserve the building for community use failed to produce any results.
Another church which became victim of a dwindling congregation could 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 submitted to turn it into a three-bedroom home. Plans also include an extension to the former church.
Trinity Methodist and United Reformed Church, in George Street, Burton, closed in 2011 due to unaffordable maintenance costs and, again, a dwindling congregation. It later reopened as The Trinity.
Members of the Salem Baptist Church, in Station Street, Burton, sold their church to enable them to move to Mosley Street in the town. The church building was taken on by Costa Coffee.