A HISTORIC church building in the centre of Clydebank is to be put up for sale after the congregation decided to look for a new place to hold services.

The Reverend Mitchell Bunting, minister of the Morison Memorial United Reformed Church (URC), says the church will not be closing down - but that the congregation will be seeking somewhere "better suited." 

Mr Bunting explained the Morison Memorial was a facility that enjoyed hosting lots of activities pre-Covid pandemic but two years of closures due to lockdowns has impacted people using the building.

He told the Post: "A 19th-century building can be really expensive to maintain and we came to the conclusion, through a series of church meetings I was helping them with, that they needed was something that was more modern, more accessible and more useful. That's the prime reason."

The congregation recently decided to put the building, on the corner of Dumbarton Road and Hall Street, up for sale.

Mr Bunting added: “The current building has access challenges and is proving too costly to repair and maintain, and in the current economic situation, the congregation have wisely decided to seek to sell the current premises in order to be able to find somewhere better suited to continuing worship and fellowship.”

The congregation will continue to meet at the church until it is sold.

The 19th-century building is being sold by property consultants Thomson Property, who are seeking offers of more than £140,000.

Eric Thomson, who is in charge of selling the site, explained he believes numbers at the church have been on the decline and outlined why the sale doesn’t mean it is to be turned into private residential property.

Mr Thomson said: “It’s still in use by my client, the United Reformed Church, but the congregation has reduced significantly and it’s not cost-effective for them to continue to use it.”

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 outlines how the property can currently be used. Anyone wishing to use the church for a different purpose would have to make an application to West Dunbartonshire Council.

The Morison Church is currently listed as Class 10, 'non-residential institutions', meaning it can only be used as a business such as a creche, provision of education, religious purposes, a museum, a public library or an exhibition.

“It can be used for anything within that class," Mr Thomson said.

"If someone wanted to use it differently, they would have to go for a change of use.”

Mr Thomas believes he won’t be short of offers for the building after selling similar properties recently in Barrhead and Dunfermline.

For full details see thomsonproperty.co.uk.