Hoddlesden school could ‘take back’ church building

A VILLAGE church building may be taken over by the neighbouring school if expansion plans go through.

St Paul’s Church in Hoddlesden has been forced to use St Paul’s Primary School’s hall for services while expansion work was carried out.

The school did not have the room to cope with the number of pupils and had therefore had plans approved to build new classrooms.

The work has meant the church building has had to close because it is in the middle of a building site.

And bosses have said that if a further expansion project gets the go-ahead, it could see the church building permanently used as part of the school.

But, the Rev Terry Dyer said, becoming part of the school would be a return to the building’s original purpose.

He said: “If the money is available for further expansion, the building the church has been using would go back to being a classroom.

“It actually used to be part of the school but when St Paul’s Church was condemned in 1978 it transferred to the current building.

“If that was to go ahead, we would use the school hall and that would be the long-term plan.

“Everyone says the building is the church but that is not the case as it was all part of the school.”

Mr Dyer said it did not matter where the congregation met for worship.

He said: “The church is the congregation and that is certainly not closing.”

Mr Dyer said the plans would only go ahead if both planning permission was granted and enough money was available to implement them.

He said: “It’s always been a possibility that they would take it back, because it was always part of the school.

“It might happen under the current proposal, but it might not happen ever.

“It’s only a proposal until planning permission is granted and finances are available, but when that is, is anybody’s guess.”

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