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Cheveley's parish council to buy village chapel for £149,000

A chapel, which has been a place of worship for villagers in Cheveley for more than 150 years, could become a community hub if a bid by the parish council to buy it is successful.

The United Reformed Church’s chapel in the village’s High Street was up for sale for bids in excess of £125,000 and the council’s bid of £149,000, conditional upon a satisfactory survey of the property, has been accepted.

“We felt it was an ideal place for a community hall,” said parish council chairman Claire Elbrow. “We are a big parish and we hope residents from both the South and North wards of Cheveley can make use of it.”

Cheveley United Reforned Church (31729988)
Cheveley United Reforned Church (31729988)

Cllr Elbrow said the council had been looking to take forward a project for a community hub to serve groups in the village for some time.

“The church came up for sale with very good timing and we believe it will be an enormous asset to the village,” she said.

Cllr Elbrow said the chapel, which is currently still in use for services, was already used by the village play group and other organisations which rented it for occasional events.

“It is very good that we have been able to keep a community building in community use,” she said.

The chapel was built in 1869 as a small Baptist Chapel but was taken over by the United Reformed Church in 1882.

Various additions have been made to the building over the years, including a rear extension with kitchen and toilets which was added in around 1970.

There is some work to be done by the new owners, including the replacement of windows and attention to issues with damp and the council has warned that less money may consequently be available for proposed improvements to the village’s pavilion.

It is understood that the United Reformed Church, which has local branches at Cheveley and Stetchworth, made the decision to sell the building at Cheveley in order to consolidate the church at Stetchworth.