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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 11:33 GMT
Catholic churches to be sold off
Churches are to be put up for sale in a reorganisation of the Roman Catholic Church in Devon and Cornwall.

Thirty four parishes in Devon will be cut to 23 and 15 parishes in Cornwall will become nine.

It will mean some parishes will lose their church, while in others a parish priest will serve more than one church.

The church says the closures will not be "wholesale" and money from the sales will be put into other aspects of church activities.

Plymouth Diocese spokesman Michael Fay said: "Some churches will be closed but some parish priests will serve more than one church.

"There will be no wholesale closure of churches."

I don't feel I belong anywhere now
Jean Rose
Some churches in Plymouth have been earmarked for closure but the diocese has not revealed details until discussions take place with the parishes.

Monsignor Robert Draper, Vicar General of the Plymouth Diocese, said: "After World War II many people moved out of Plymouth, but many of our churches and parishes remain in the city.

"In a way they are out of place, so we have to consider which buildings are serving a purpose and which have the heritage and are serving the community.

"It will be painful, but it is also important that we release some of the resources for other aspects of the church's life."

Jean Rose, a former member of the congregation at Gunnislake Roman Catholic Chapel which closed earlier this year, said she now worships at either Tavistock or Callington.

She said: "I don't feel I belong anywhere now, that's the sad part.

"We were consulted, but we always had the feeling they knew what they were going to do anyway.

"I can understand the diocese's position, but nobody wanted to lose their church."

SEE ALSO
Crumbling church to close doors
23 Jul 07 |  Cornwall
Move to turn chapel into new pub
18 Oct 06 |  Cornwall

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