Campaigner against Seven Kings church demolition ‘shocked’ at response to residents’ anger

A man campaigning against the demolition of a church in Seven Kings has said he is “shocked” at the response from church leaders.

A church official says Seven Kings Methodist Church in Balmoral Gardens has become too expensive to maintain.

In a letter in this week’s Recorder, Rev Steve Poole said: “Sadly the community have not supported any of the events at the church and do not use the premises which are available to rent. So how and why should a small congregation carry the burden of such a building just to keep local residents happy with the view?”

About 30 people attend the Sunday service at the church which was built in 1905.

Help and support

A group of residents are leading the campaign to stop the plans to demolish the church and build about 20 flats, a new library and caf�.

Axel Sundargi, 36, of Balmoral Gardens, said: “I’m really shocked.

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“If it needs local support they need to reach out to the local community.

“They can have posters asking for help and support. There’s nothing about needing help.”

The campaigners have set up a website and Facebook group as well as collecting signatures for a petition.

“The church has said nothing about the plans,” said Mr Sundargi.

“People are not aware that they are going to knock down the church.”

Mr Sundargi plans to rally support and raise awareness by printing posters and leaflets and distributing them in businesses and shops around the area.

Ravi Bhanot, 51, of Green Lane, Seven Kings, said: “We should have been consulted before planning permission was sort. A 100 year old church is going for the sake of flats. That cannot be the right thing.”

There will be a meeting on July 16 at 7.30pm to discuss the proposed plans at the church.