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ONE OF Catherine-de-Barnes’ most prominent buildings, the hundred year-old St Catherine’s, has been saved from closure.

The busy village hall, originally built as a school and chapel, has been at risk of closure since regular church services ceased there in 2010.

The busy village hall, originally built as a school and chapel, has been at risk of closure since regular church services ceased there in 2010.

Church of England Trust had been considering selling the historic building, but they have now reached an agreement with the local community to appoint new trustees to manage the hall.

They will also be responsible for raising funds for the upkeep of St Catherine’s.

The Rector of St Alphege Fr Tim Pilkington, said: “I am very pleased that we seem to have found a solution. St Catherine’s has had a long association with the local community, who have put a great deal of time and effort into supporting it financially over the years. The proposed plan will guarantee the future of St Catherine’s for the people of Catherine-de-Barnes and at the same time permit the church some continuing use of the building.”

The red brick building, in Hampton Lane, was built by Joseph Gillott in 1879.

At the time he owned most of the farms and estates east of Solihull. It was used as a village schoolhouse until the 1970s.The premises will continue to be used for meetings, community events and hire while the church will retain some use of the site for services and events.

The agreement is subject to approval by the charity commissioners.

 

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