The Diocese of Liverpool, which oversees churches in Wigan, has outlined four churches that will be released as well as 15 that are at risk of being closed. With the churches in the area costing £1 million to run, the diocese says it cannot afford to maintain all the buildings anymore.
The diocese carried out a nine-month review of options, where 31 church buildings in the area were analysed by the state and quality of the building, its future ability to serve the local communities and contribute to the mission of the church, and its ongoing sustainability.
The review in Wigan is part of a wider diocesan assessment of all its buildings, including churches and halls.
The following churches in Wigan are at risk and undergoing further review:
- St Andrew’s, Springfield
- All Saints, Hindley
- St John the Evangelist, Abram
- St Peter, Hindley
- St James w. St Elizabeth, Bickershaw
- St David, Haigh
- St Luke, Orrell
- St John the Divine, Pemberton
- St Barnabas, Marsh Green
- St Luke, Stubshaw Cross
- Holy Trinity, Downall Green
- St George, Wigan
- All Saints, Wigan
- St Matthew, Highfield
- St Paul, Goose Green
A way forward – how we’re investing in the North West
“We are sorry to hear about the proposed church closures in Wigan,” shares Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust.
“At the National Churches Trust, we want to keep churches open and in use and are working hard to find ways to support churches to have a sustainable future. One of the ways we are doing this is by investing more resources into the North West, which we’ve been able to do thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“Through a dedicated support officer in the North West, churches are given advice and training on grants and maintenance, so they can keep their places of worship in good repair. There is also support given to help churches open their buildings to visitors and tourists, so that even more people can enjoy the stunning heritage that these churches have to offer. All of the support is geared towards churches having a sustainable future.
“Churches are the beating hearts of communities. Through our House of Good research, we know that churches provide £55 billion of social good each year.
“We are looking forward to working with all those involved with church buildings to enable them to be open, well maintained and serving their communities.”