Sun, 16 Jul 2017
THE West Berkshire church where the Duchess of Cambridge was christened has been temporarily taken off the market.
The Grade II-listed St Andrew’s Church, in Bradfield, had been advertised for sale for offers in excess of £500,000 by agent Kempton Carr Croft, which said there was potential for office or residential redevelopment.
The graveyard is not included in the sale.
A spokesman for the diocese of Oxford said: “St Andrew’s Church in Bradfield will be advertised as for sale as part of the process of exploring the future of the building.
“Worship stopped there in 2014 because of the high cost of maintenance and a falling congregation, with plans for a new
parish church on the site of St Peter’s Church in Bradfield Southend.
“Any money from the sale of the site would be ring-fenced for Christian ministry in Bradfield.”
The church has now been taken off the market, with the diocese saying: “Selling churches is incredibly legally complex and we need to check we are going through the correct procedures before we advertise the building.
“That’s why it’s been removed temporarily.”
Plans for St Peter's in Bradfield Southend have been submitted by the Bradfield Parochial Church Council and also include six semi-detached houses and a replacement rectory.
The council said that St Peter’s was not fit to sustain its lively congregation of around 50 to 60 adults and children.
The wooden frame church was built in 1965 but has not been consecrated.
“With services no longer taking place at St Andrew’s, there is a need for a new parish church, suitable for weddings, funerals, baptisms and community services,” the church council said.
“While St Peter’s could now be consecrated, the aesthetics of the design do not lend themselves for such uses, as well as being too small and inflexible.”
The priest in charge of the parishes of Bradfield, Bucklebury and Stanford Dingley, the Rev Julian Gadsby, said that marketing the church was a process the diocese needed to go through and not something the church council was involved in.
He said: “We are very hopeful that the long-term future of the churches will be assured and we are working with the diocese to bring about the best possible outcome.”
St Andrew’s dates back to the 14th century, but was remodelled in French Gothic style by George Gilbert Scott in the 1840s.
The work was paid for by the Rev Thomas Stevens, who founded Bradfield College in 1850 to provide choristers for his new church.
The diocese of Oxford has been in discussions with Bradfield College over selling St Andrew’s in light of the historical links with the church.