Lots of people want to know what is going to happen with the old chapel now the planning committee has turned down our planning application to develop the site.
First of all, the church is NOT and never has been, the building! The church is the people and so where we meet is irrelevant to us as a church. That’s the good news! The building may close but the church does not.
However, the Baptist Church has been meeting in the chapel since 1836 and we hate to see a historic building like this go to waste especially when it could be a genuine asset to the community of Lydney as well as the church. We regard the decision of the planning committee as inexplicably short sighted and a missed opportunity for Lydney as a whole.
Fortunately, we are working with a developer, (Joe Rice of B & R Developments), who feels exactly the same way and he hasn’t given up! He isn’t prepared to let the refusal of the District Council’s planning committee stop him in his endeavour to provide the town with low cost housing and the church with a modern and easily maintained base which other community groups can also make use of. So he is currently preparing to take our case to appeal.
In the meantime the church has decided to move out of the chapel for a number of reasons. One reason is that we are rapidly finding the cost of maintaining the building too much for the small congregation to manage and we need to reduce costs whilst preparing the building for sale. Another reason is that is time for us to cease acting as caretakers for an elderly creaking building that is no longer suitable for worshipers of the 21st century. We are not called to be caretakers but to make disciples.
We hope that the appeal is successful and we hope that we can move back in one day but we have to be realistic so we are planning for the future on the basis that we are to become a church without a building.