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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Iconic west Cumbrian church to be sold for £65,000

Maryport's iconic Christ Church is on the verge of being sold.

Christ Church photo
Christ Church, Maryport

The harbourside church, which has been closed for about a year, is being bought by a woman from outside Cumbria for £65,000.

Contracts have been exchanged and the sale is expected to be completed in March, said estate agents Hyde Harrington.

It is not known what the buyer, whose identity has not been revealed, intends to do with the building.

Dr Richard Pratt, archdeacon of West Cumberland, said: “Everybody in the church in Maryport will be really sad that we couldn’t sustain it. There are three Church of England churches in what is not a very big town.

“Christ Church is only 100 yards from St Mary’s and no organisation could sustain that.

“The building is much loved by the people of Maryport. It’s really good that someone will take the building forward.”

Christ Church was closed last January when the heating system failed and there was concern about its wiring, electrics and the roof.

A decision was taken a month later by the Parochial Church Council of St Mary with Christ Church to permanently close it because of the mounting repair costs.

The most urgent repairs, which would have allowed the church to open, were estimated at more than £110,000.

The parochial council said the congregation was unable to generate enough income to cover further running costs, and the church was put on the market last May.

Built in 1872, it has featured in paintings by artist LS Lowry and is used on postcards and photographs of the town.

George Kemp, Allerdale councillor for Maryport, said: “A lot of people are passionate about keeping it open.

“I hope they don’t alter the structure.”

Peter Kendall, Maryport town councillor, said: “It’s terribly important that the interior and external design is maintained and preserved.”

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