Historic church for sale

03:37, May 11 2012
Church for sale
Nelson's historic St John's Methodist Church is for sale.

Nelson's historic St John's Methodist Church is for sale.

The 1890 wooden Hardy St church has a rateable value of $1.6million and has been owned by the Nelson Methodist community for about 150 years.

St John's Methodist Church minister Alison Molineux said the time was right for the church community to look for a new home.

"Over the last year or so the congregation has become increasingly aware that our buildings do not serve well either our specific needs as a worshipping community, nor our mission with the wider community, so we have decided to seek new premises," Ms Molineux said.

She said the decision to sell had not been made lightly and the congregation and those in the community who had enjoyed using the building had been consulted.

The church had a congregation of 40 to 50 people and held its service every Sunday.

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"We love our buildings dearly, and over the last few years we have put a massive amount of energy into keeping the buildings well maintained," she said.

"Looking into the future, we would like to be putting more energy into the needs of the people.

"After all, a church is not the buildings but the people, and moving to new premises will enable us to offer more to the community of Nelson. We are really looking forward to the future."

The decision to sell the building was not so much about the money, but more about the effort needed to keep the building up to standard.

"We don't see our function as being property managers and that's sort of become a role for a lot of people."

The buildings were also not very suitable for modern day worship. The buildings are listed as heritage buildings under the Historic Places Trust.

She said the church wanted to stay in central Nelson and would look at either renting premises or buying them. They wanted to be with similar-minded people.

"People have very, very fond memories of the building. We are looking forward to the future."

The church had approached its neighbours the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology which said it was unable to purchase the buildings.

Colliers International is marketing the church and tenders close for offers on Thursday, June 21.

Raj Singh from Colliers said the church was a fascinating building, and presented a wonderful opportunity for someone to own a piece of unique local history. The building had substantial land holdings for the inner city fringe.

"It could be used for other faith-based groups, Maori organisations, family trusts or as business offices or for hospitality, as it is right in central Nelson.

The Nelson Mail