A CHURCH built in 1906 has been put up for sale with a £170,000 price tag.

The Horwich Independent Methodist Church in Lee Lane was put on the market after church officials decided to close it.

According to Andrew Rigby, connexional services manager at the Independent Methodist Church, operating the building had become unviable as member numbers were dwindling.

He said: “It was an elderly congregation that has been decreasing for years and the numbers went down to the point where they felt that it wasn’t sustainable any longer.

“It is unfortunate but I think it is a sign of the times and hopefully the congregation will be able to find other churches that are nearby.”

The building has been marketed by estate agency Roberts, Edwards and Worrall.

It has been described as being in a good condition and as an “ideal investment or development” opportunity, subject to gaining planning permission from Bolton Council.

The sale would include the wooden pews and furniture, as well as the church organ.

There is also a further large room, ancillary rooms and a kitchen.

Cllr Peter Wright, who represents Bridge Ward on Horwich Town Council, was adamant that the building should not be knocked down.

He said: “It is a shame that the church isn’t used any more so I hope that the congregation can manage to find somewhere else to go.

“Old buildings don’t seem to get used as much any more. I’m not sure who will buy it or what they will plan for it but I would definitely rather they renovate it instead of knocking it down.”

The Labour councillor floated the idea of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce purchasing the building so it could be used as a Horwich branch of the business organisation.

But several residents have also taken to social media, with many stating that they would rather it be used commercially rather than as a potential site for housing.

Roberts, Edwards and Worrall are holding a viewing of the church from noon on Monday.

The property can also be viewed at rightmove.co.uk