COUNCILLORS have said they are exploring “all avenues” to try to save a much-loved church and village hall in Bromley Cross.

Birtenshaw Methodist Church and Bromley Cross Village Hall has a provisional closing date of August 31, 2017.

In a meeting on October 4, members voted to seek permission from the Methodist authorities to “cease to meet”.

At the time, the suggestion that a residents’ group be formed to save the hall were rejected by the Rev Philip Belli, assistant minister at the church who said the church “could not get the volunteers on the ground to run things any more”.

However, councillors Norman Critchley and David Greenhalgh said they are exploring “all avenues to keep the building”.

Conservative leader Cllr Greenhalgh said: “We are looking at whether we can get it listed as a building of significant importance.

“We need to find a way of raising funds some way to keep it as a community vessel.

“That is the aim. We don’t want any more houses.

“And the fact is we are losing an incredible meeting place and community facility.

“I believe that a date for dispersal has already been established however I am hoping that with the local outcry that this has created that maybe the message has got back and they are thinking how much the community want to support it.”

Cllr Norman Critchley is confident the problems can be solved if the community pulls together. He said: “We are exploring all the different avenues and ways of keeping it.

“It is a tremendous asset to the area and in every aspect of the village. There are a lot of problems to be solved, but they are all solvable if there is a need and want to do it.

“August gives us significant time to attend serious negotiations with the church and the community.

“If this fails it is not the fault of the church it will be the lack of interest from the community.

“All comments I have had from the community have been positive.

“So the plan is to keep it running as a community building.”