Residents of a small community on the outskirts of Buxton have expressed sadness at the proposed closure of the village’s only church.
Peak Dale Methodist Church is closing its doors to the public next month because of a dwindling congregation and shortage of funds required to bring the building up to standard.
A final act of worship will be held on Sunday July 20, with the closing service conducted by the Rev David Hall.
Superintendant Minister of the Buxton Circuit of the Methodist Church, the Rev Andrew Parker, said: “The service will give thanks for the 100-plus years the church has served the Peak Dale community.
“We never take these decisions lightly and would love to keep the church open, but sadly we haven’t got the resources, the energy or the money to fund the repairs. This is unfortunately the state of play for many chapels across the country.”
Parishioners have been invited to attend neighbouring churches in Fairfield and Dove Holes, while a pre-school group based in the church is to relocate to Peak Forest.
Mr Parker said no decision had yet been taken on the building’s future, adding: “We will have to abide by charity law which says we have got to get the best possible value for our resources. We are waiting to see what that will be.”
The methodist church is the last remaining place of worship in the village, following the closure of Holy Trinity Church in 2003.
Anne Johnson, who has been involved with Peak Dale Methodist Church for 40 years and is a former church secretary, said many residents felt they had been kept in the dark over the closure, and feared the decision would leave the community further isolated.
“It is very upsetting for people in the village, but deep down we knew it would come to this eventually because there is so few people attending,” she added.