IT’S NOT FOR SALE! Man fails to understand point of Open House

The Open House sign on St Peter's Church in Newbury Park

The Open House sign on St Peter's Church in Newbury Park - Credit: Archant

St Peter’s Church is much loved by the Newbury Park community and those who work there.

So one can imagine the confusion and distress one staff member felt when he received a phone call from a man presenting himself as a buyer after insisting he had seen it for sale in a booklet

Ron Jeffries, who represents the church, in Aldborough Road North, Newbury Park, said: “A man called and said he wished to buy St Peter’s Church, which he understood was a Grade II-listed building.

“I told him that the church was not for sale.”

The man on the phone tried to convince him that the building was indeed on the market and said his east London church wanted to use it for services.

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“He gabbled a lot and kept asking me the price,” Mr Jeffries said. “I kept saying we are not for sale – and in the end he seemed to half accept what I had said and we parted good friends.”

Mr Jeffries thought nothing of it until yesterday (Weds) morning when he received yet another phone call from someone trying to buy the church off him.

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Mr Jeffries said: “I asked him where he had learned that the church was for sale. He said it was in the London Open House booklet.”

Open House, a festival held across London at the weekend, celebrates architecture by opening buildings up to the public, including 10 Downing Street and Battersea Power Station.

Eighteen buildings in Redbridge, including St Peter’s Church, also took part.

“I explained just what Open House is,” laughed Mr Jeffries. “He thought that all the buildings listed in the booklet were for sale!”

About 900 different buildings of architectural importance were open during the weekend.

Mr Jeffries continued: “Surely the man did not believe that all these were for sale too – or did he?

“Is the country in such a dire economic state that we publish a booklet with 900 London buildings for sale! I remain unsure if the man believed me.”

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