Residents pack meeting over plan to demolish Seven Kings church
More than 150 people turned out for a meeting discussing controversial plans to demolish a Seven Kings church.
The proposal includes redeveloping the site after church officials said the running costs have become too high.
Campaigners say Seven Kings Methodist Church in Balmoral Gardens is historically significant and is important to the area.
Axel Sundargi, 36, of Balmoral Gardens is leading opposition to the plans with a website, petition and Facebook campaign.
Mr Sundargi said: “The meeting went OK. There was some real emotion in the room. Different groups attended including congregation members who were not in agreement with what’s going on.”
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Plans submitted to the council include building another church with disabled access, residential flats and a library.
The petition against the plans for the church now has more than 500 signatures and 86 people have “liked” their Facebook group.
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Mr Sundargi said: “There’s momentum now. At this moment we need to make sure the council are aware that there’s local opposition to the plans.”
The meeting, held in the church on Monday, included a presentation by the Rev Steve Poole whose signature in on the outline planning document submitted to Redbridge Council.
Mr Poole discussed why the plans were developed and gave the church’s position over increasing costs to maintain the building. It has a capacity for 270 people but officials say only 30 people attend Sunday services.
Mr Sundargi said: “The key issue is that it’s out in the open and that this is happening.
“Only one architect has been approached and maybe the inside of the church could be refurbished instead of knocking it down.”
The two-storey Edwardian brick church was one of three churches built in the same style around the borough.
For more information about the campaign visit www.saveourchurch.co.uk or call Mr Sundargi on 07448 246 552.