Hyndburn’s MP hopes to save a now derelict listed church for use by the community.
MP Graham Jones said he has been in talks with the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Reverend Philip North, about the possibility of saving the “wonderful but derelict” St James Church Kirk, in Church.
The medieval church building held its last service in November last year, after church leaders decided to close its doors due to an ageing population, falling attendance, and the poor condition of the building.
Mr Jones said he hoped to be able restore the building back to the local community in Church.
He said: “I believe we should look at all options to save St James. Stakeholders will be meeting over the coming weeks to see what is feasible.
“I believe it is a fabulous building and if the people of Church were willing to take ownership of it, I am sure we can get significant funding to repair and refurbish it.”
A church has existed on the site in some form since 642 AD.
Since Church Kirk’s closure, a new congregation has been launched at nearby St Nicholas CE Primary School, with afternoon praise services attracting up to 100 worshippers, including many families and children.
This congregation is the ‘first of 50’ new congregations in Lancashire, part of Blackburn Diocese’s ‘Vision 2026’ to create 50 new congregations in the county before the centenary of the diocese in ten years time.
Bishop Philip North said that the diocese was aiming to give the local community continuing access to the historic church.
Bishop North said: “The Diocese is currently exploring all options of the future of St James’s Church Kirk.
“The building is in very poor condition and needs significant funds for repairs.
"At the same time we have opened a new church aimed specifically at families which already has a sizeable attendance.”
He added: “I was glad to meet with Graham Jones who had some positive and constructive ideas about how best the building can be utilised as a facility for the benefit of the community and I look forward to continuing these conversations.
“At the same time the Diocese will continue to explore other options.
"A use which enables the community to have continuing access would be best for all. That would be our favoured option.”