A DISUSED Winyates church could finally be spruced up thanks to the efforts of community volunteers.
St Gregory’s near Winyates Centre has been lying empty for years and the land around it is now overgrown – leading Redditch Borough Council to order the Catholic church which owns the site to clean it up.
This had not taken place by the end of July as ordered so planning chiefs will now meet in October to decide the future of the site, with options including getting in contractors to make the repairs and then charging the landowners.
But Dave Chart, who first started campaigning to improve the site in 2006, is separately hoping to start a group of volunteers who could overhaul the site. Ultimately, he told the Standard he wanted to see the building used again for community activities.
“The land over there is dangerous, it’s a terrible sight in the neighbourhood and is very dangerous for the older people and the young kids who live round here.
“I desperately want to take over the church and would like to see the space opened up as a garden for residents to use.
“People are saying the building needs to be knocked down, it does not as the footings are fine.
“Everybody in Winyates desperately wants it to be done. I would love to get one of the big organisations involved to run the project and invite everybody in Winyates to come along.”
Father Anthony Rohan said volunteers clearing up the site would be welcomed but he did not know whether the church could be brought back into use.
“The roof is in a terrible state and the floor is very bad too. It would need a lot of money. I wouldn’t want to disillusion Mr Chart because we haven’t got the funds to redeem it.
“Sadly it has gone beyond repair. It was once a beautiful building when is started up but there has been a lot of vandalism since, so anything to improve its overall appearance would be appreciated.”
Anyone wishing to help can call Mr Chart on 01527 454123.
* What do you think? What would you like to see the church building used for? Send us your views to [email protected]