HASTINGS and St Leonards have their fair share of unusual properties for sale - but the chance to buy your own church doesn’t come along every day.
Next month though anyone with £250,000 burning a hole in their back pocket can bid for the former St Leonards Congregational Church when it goes under the hammer in Brighton.
Founded in 1863, the church sits on the corner of London Road and Pevensey Road in St Leonards and its new owner will be able to enjoy lots of period features, a one-bedroom property the auctioneers claim is ripe for refurbishment and fine sea views.
The Grade II listed building became part of the United Reformed Church in 1972 and last held a service in 2002.
It was finally closed in 2008 and a planning application has been lodged with the council to get permission to turn the church hall into a cafe.
James Emson, of Clive Emson Auctioneers, is the man tasked with finding a buyer at the auction and he admitted it is one of the more unusual lots he has dealt with.
He said: “This is a beautiful sandstone building, steeped in history and very much a resort landmark, and we anticipate some keen interest from bidders across the country.
“We sincerely hope that a buyer comes forward to breathe new life into this church, creating local jobs in the process.
“The property was listed by English Heritage for its architectural and historical importance. Indeed, it was considered one of the most ambitious Nonconformist buildings of its kind in Sussex.
“Many original features have been retained, including organ, pews, altar and vestibule located in the main church area, which is on the first floor and has a mezzanine level overlooking the congregation area.”
He said there was plenty of potential for development, for business or commercial use, and is confident he will find someone to match the guide price of between £200,000 and £250,000. The auction takes place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Tuesday, April 5 at 11am.