By Bill Heaney

An Alexandria church – which finally closed its doors for worship last year – has a prospective buyer after being put on the market for £170,000.

B-listed St Mungo’s Episcopal Church on Main Street shut in August and looks set to be reinvigorated.

It’s the church where the author and broadcaster Bishop Richard Holloway was a member of the congregation with his parents who lived in  Random Street, and the Rev Joseph Wildin was one of its best known, long-serving pastors.

It was also where members of the “County set” such as Telfer Smollett family of Cameron House, Loch Lomond, worshiped for many years.

The Rev Liz O’Ryan with parishioners of St Mungo’s who have now moved to St Augustine’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Dumbarton (below right).

Scottish Episcopal Church Diocese of Glasgow has submitted an application for formal listed building consent to West Dunbartonshire Council for permission to remove large fittings from the building ahead of its sale.

In planning documents, the Diocese say the interested buyer is “a business that requires a large simple space”.

The traditional red sandstone church is being marketed for sale by DM Hall in Glasgow for offers in the region of £170,000, with the website listing stating it is now under offer.

It’s described as a potential development opportunity, subject to consent.

The Diocese require formal permission to remove large items, including the organ and main altar, from the church, which was built in 1895 after being designed by J M Crawford and listed as category B in 1996.

The large free standing ecclesiastical fittings are set to be re-used in other churches.

A planning statement states it has an interested buyer, explaining: “The church building is under offer and the prospective purchasers do not require or intend to retain ecclesiastical furnishings.

“The prospective buyers are a business that requires a large simple space and it will be their responsibility to seek any formal consents.”

The contents of the church, which closed down on August 29, are currently being cleared out.

The planning statement, prepared by a diocesan

St Mungo ministers – Richard Holloway, Liz O’Ryan and Kenny MacAulay.

architect, explains: “All items being re-located are free standing or portable, however several heavier items may be considered fixtures due to their size and weight, and according to the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) ecclesiastical exemption guidance, this may now require formal listed building consent as the use of the building is no longer for church worship.

“The items that might be considered in this category are the organ, the main altar, two choir pews and font.

“The church diocese have no plans for any alterations to the building fabric or structure or grounds and setting of the listed building.

“The church building is in the process of being sold on the open market and the SEC Diocese are making arrangements for the relocation of the ecclesiastical furnishings and fixtures to other churches within the diocese and where necessary will be under the supervision and control of the Bishop and diocesan property committee with the formal Canon 35 permission process.

“The diocese has produced an inventory and will offer all items for use in other churches in the diocese on a first come, first served basis.

“There is a tradition of sharing and re-using church furnishings and most items will find suitable new homes.”

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