Church and hall may close by end of year

The United Reformed Church and adjoining Friars Hall in Sudbury is to close
The United Reformed Church and adjoining Friars Hall in Sudbury is to close
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A Grade II listed church and adjoining hall are likely to close by the end of the year.

Christ Church, in School Street, home of Sudbury’s United Reformed Church, is likely to close due to a dwindling and ageing congregation, with bookings also stopped beyond the end of the year at the adjoining Friars Hall.

The hall is used by a number of slimming groups, as well as The Sudbury Society and Sudbury Choral Society.

“The situation is that we will almost certainly close the church at the end of September,” said church secretary Chris Proffitt. “The congregation is just too small and too old.

“It will be reviewed in July, but my feeling is that it will close at the end of the year.”

The church has a regular congregation of about 12 members, with a sister church in Long Melford.

Joining this church or making a formal partnership with another church in Sudbury are two options being considered.

If it does close, the future of the listed building, which is situated in Sudbury’s conservation area, will be decided by the office of the Eastern Synod.

Mr Proffitt added: “There are a lot of churches that go on too long. We are going to have a big party and go out on a high.

“It’s a pity for the hall users, maybe St Peter’s is the way to go.”

Sudbury Society is one of many groups that uses the hall and chairman Lorna Hoey said members were shocked when they were told of the closure.

“Our first reaction was that we are losing the meeting place which the society has used for many years.

It’s a comfortable size for our meetings of 50 to 60 people, with good seating and kitchen facilities and no steps.

“Our second reaction was one of despair. Here we are, losing yet another venue when Sudbury has so few.

“The Conservative Club was an ideal meeting place: gone. St Gregory’s Church Hall: no longer with us. The future of the Delphi is uncertain. We desperately need a central community hub for Sudbury.”