Sheffield church threatens sale of community hall due to lack of church funding

A parish church council in a Sheffield village say they can no longer fund a community hall as church funds are running low, despite offers from the community to help.

By Molly Williams
Thursday, 31 January, 2019, 15:37
Dore Parish Church Hall

Many community groups in Dore use the village hall for various activities including Scouts, Girl Guides, choir and ballet.

But all that could go if the church decide to push forward with the possibility of selling it to developers for around £750,000.

Anita Campbell, of the Christ Church Parochial Church Council, said: “The church does not receive sufficient funding to run its two buildings – this church building, which is Grade two listed, and the church hall. The church is an important building in the centre of the village, as a centre for worship and is important to members of the community who turn to it for significant events in their lives. It is funded by the people who attend.”

Ms Campbell added that they were looking at options for the future of the church hall. Ms Campbell said: “Christ Church is facing a considerable reduction in the charitable giving it receives and is finding it difficult to continue supporting and subsidising the church hall building.”

They went on to say in recent years they had to significantly reduce the money it gives to helping other churches.

The hall was originally funded by the community and was later donated to the church as it suited the space.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Councillor Joe Otten, representative for Dore and Totley ward, said it would “massively annoy” residents if the church were to sell it to fund church activities.

He added: “There are lots of people who are willing to help keep it in the community’s hands. The community could raise it if we could get people together, Dore is a very affluent area, and it would take a lot of pressure off the church.

“If the hall is sold for housing or something else it would be a huge loss, there would really be anywhere else for these groups to go. Dore has many active groups and we need to support them.”

The church recently gave a talk to update the community on the issue in which more than 200 people turned out. However, Coun Martin Smith, representative for Dore and Totley, said attendees were told not to ask questions and that it was a ‘listening exercise’.

Following the meeting, the church said they would consider comments made and review their options on the future of the hall.