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Sunderland church to hold its last service

Focused on the future - church development officer Helen Stephenson and Revd David Whiting, outside the West Park church in Sunderland, which will close, with St George's in the background.

Focused on the future - church development officer Helen Stephenson and Revd David Whiting, outside the West Park church in Sunderland, which will close, with St George's in the background.

A CHURCH building is to be sold off after a vote by members of its congregation.

Plans to close the centre in Sunderland have been revealed after a six-month review by Stockton Road United Reform Church (URC) over the future of its West Park and St George’s church building.

A task group made up of people from across the wider church have now unveiled plans to make St George’s its centre for worship.

Congregations from the two churches came together in 2008 to form Stockton Road United Reformed Church, and meet in both buildings on alternate Sundays.

The Rev David Whiting, Minister for the Sunderland and Boldon URC Partnership, which includes Stockton Road, said: “I’m delighted that we have finally got a decision on the way forward with these buildings.

“What matters is building a church firmly rooted within its local community, that can be a positive asset for that community and the wider city of Sunderland in partnership with other churches.

“We must now be prayerful in our planning of the next steps and conscious of the feeling of those who will feel a loss in this change, but we can all look to a bright future here at Stockton Road.”

Both buildings have been previously put up for sale, with no success, but it was felt St George’s was the most suitable for worship.

A final service of celebration will be held on October 17 at 6.30pm, before the building at West Park will be formally handed over to the URC Northern Synod Trust on October 31.

 

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