A disused religious building in East Challow has been put on the market for sale, much to the dismay of local residents and councillors.

The Old Mission building was first opened as a Baptist church in 1904. It ran religious services before ceasing operations in October 2021 and has since been left derelict.

For sale signs erected at the property this week alerted residents that the property was up for sale.

Villagers are now concerned that the property may be snapped up by developers, with a group having formed earlier in the year, campaigning to retain and reopen the building as a religious venue or transform it into a community centre.

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Ridgeway ward district councillor Dr Paul Barrow said: “We ran a village survey months ago and residents' responses were clear. They want this building to be for the community’s use, especially after the closure of two pubs and a nearby convenience store.

“We have previously been in touch with trustees of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches who informed us we would be given the chance to buy it.

“Despite the building having been put up for sale without warning, we’re still looking into options as to how we can retain it as an asset of community value, primarily by working with the Plunkett Foundation.”

The Plunkett Foundation is a British charity which works with rural communities in Great Britain to create and run community-owned businesses.

The trustees of the Old Mission were contacted for comment but did not respond.