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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Basilica closes after 118 years
Cross and candle
The Norbertine community have been in Miles Platting for 118 years
A basilica in Manchester is to close because it will cost the religious order living there too much to repair.

The Prior, Fr Hugh says the Corpus Christi Basilica in Miles Platting has been "horrifically neglected" and will cost millions to renovate.

As a result, the nine priests and brothers from the Norbertine community are being forced to move. The order has lived in the area for 118 years

A final mass was held at the Varley Street basilica on Friday evening.

Established roots

Fr Hugh said: "The burden on the site is far too high for us to bear - the building has been horrifically neglected and would cost millions to repair.

"As a community we are growing which is wonderful but we need somewhere bigger to live and we do not have the money to build where we are so we are looking for somewhere else to live.

"Are roots are firmly based in the area - we have been here for 118 years - so we are looking for somewhere close by to relocate."

Age Concern

In the meantime, Salford Diocese has provided accommodation for the priests and brothers at St. Chads in Cheetham Hill and has made provisions for the pastoral care all its parishioners.

However, the future of the building remains uncertain.

The charity Age Concern is awaiting the results of a feasibility study on the site as it is interested in building an activity centre as well as residential care.

It is also looking at the possibility of building a new headquarters, community rooms and offices for people working and living in the area.

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