August 15, 2019 2.39 pm This story is over 51 months old

Diocese plans to convert historic church into new home

The diocese has been trying to sell the building since 2011

A historic village church could become a house of someone other than God if plans to convert it into a two-bedroom home are successful.

The Lincoln Diocese is looking to convert and extend the Grade II Listed St Mary’s Church, in West Torrington into a new living space.

The build will see an additional bedroom with en-suite shower room added on to the Vestry as well as a series of changes internally and repair work.

According to documents submitted to East Lindsey District Council, the diocese has been trying to sell the building for light commercial use with a price of £30,000 since it was declared redundant in 2011.

A plan for how the ground floor of the church could be laid out.

However, they say their endeavours have “proved fruitless”.

“This has generated relatively little interest and no realistic or sustained offers to purchase, and is one of the main reasons why the current proposal has been developed,” say the documents.

The current church was built around 1860-62 by London architect R.J Withers, however, it is believed a church has been on site in the area since the 12th Century.

It has been “conjecturally” linked to Gilbert of Sempringham, who founded the Gilbertine Order around 1130.

A bedroom would be build at one end of the church which would look out across the rest of the building.

The Vicar from 1859-85 was Thomas Wimberley Mossman, who was a controversial figure in the Oxford movement and founded a brotherhood which financed young men from poor backgrounds through their training into priesthood.

He was part of the early Oecumenical movement, which attempts to work towards worldwide Christian unity.

The diocese says the design has been “carefully thought out to be sensitive to the historic building”.

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