Fears have been realised regarding the future of Wrigley Methodist Church in Diggle. The Oldham and Saddleworth Methodist Circuit (OSMC) who are currently responsible for the building have decided that it is no longer able to justify keeping the church and therefore it should be sold. Wrigley Mill has been a central focal point for the community of Diggle for over 150 years
Religious services came to an end in June this year following dwindling support marking the end of an era. Minister Pete Shepherd said at the time that: “We’ve seen a steady decline in the number of worshippers, we’ve lost people who have died or moved out of the area.” Following the final service, church members decided to hand responsibility for the building over to the OSMC.
Discussions are currently taking place regarding the sale of the building and Peter Moorhouse from the OSMC said that the committee are intent on introducing conditions which would have to be met by whoever wanted to develop the building. These could include retaining the outer shell and providing a section of the building for community use.
Many of the groups who regularly use the church hall will be forced to relocate or finish. Several members of the Diggle Community Association (DCA) and the Reverend Duncan Rhodes are currently looking at possible alternative venues in Diggle where these groups could continue to operate. It was felt by many at the last (DCA) meeting that the groups currently using the building provide a valuable service for the people of Diggle and everything should be done to make sure they are able to continue.
If you have an opinion with regards to the future of Wrigley Mill please contact Diggle News or leave a comment and if you would like to know more about the OSMC click here.