A SMALL village’s church is to get a new lease of life after it closed to worshippers.
St Michael’s and All Saints Church in Frosterley closed for worship in June 2019, following a public consultation, and has been empty ever since.
The closure came after a dwindling congregation made the church no longer viable. The parish was merged with Stanhope and Rookhope and the parish of St John’s Chapel Stanhope.
Now the church is to get a new lease of life after plans were submitted to transform the building into a house.
The building is Grade II listed and was built between 1868 and 1869 will be transformed into a four-bedroom house adding internal walls and a mezzanine floor.
The church organ will be removed and rehomed, but the bells, original tiled floor, and stained-glass windows will stay and be maintained by the owner.
The graveyard will remain open to the public, and the private ownership boundary has been carefully considered.
The new future for the property could save it from demolition. Consultation has started and members of the public have until September 14 to comment on Durham County Council’s planning portal. The planning application is to be determined on October 14.
Durham County Councillor for Weardale, Anita Savoury said: “The closure of St Michaels and All Angels Church was extremely upsetting for many residents losing a place of worship that had been preserved for generations.
“Many families held their baptisms, weddings and funerals there. Over the years with the decline in numbers in the congregation the decision was made to close the building permanently.
“There is currently a planning application that has been submitted views will be divided however if the conversion is passed it will preserve the building rather than it becoming run down and dilapidated over the years.”