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Christ Church in Crewe could close
Christ Church, Crewe
Because the central part of the church has been pulled down, many assume it is closed.

A south Cheshire church is facing closure because its appearance is keeping potential worshippers away.

The congregation at Christ Church in Crewe attracts fewer than a dozen regular attenders. It is currently costing up to £25,000 a year to run.

Canon Bill Baker, vicar at Christ Church, blamed its unusual shape, which is the result of the demolition of the main body of the building.

The church is more than 160 years old, built for the town's railway workers.

Father Bill, speaking to BBC Radio Stoke, explained: "The actual nave of the church was lost in the 1960s to dry rot.

"So, that part of the church is now a 'controlled ruin', but the look of it tends to make people think that the whole church is closed."

Railway church

The church is one of a group in the town known as the 'railway churches' because of their association with Crewe's railway heritage. It is still seen as one of the town's most historic attractions.

After the demolition of the nave, the church re-opened in 1979, with services now being held in the Lady Chapel.

Father Bill said he thought that the changing nature of the town was also responsible for dipping attendances. He said that the church's location in the town centre is part of the problem. It is now surrounded on two sides by car parks.

"A lot of local housing was cleared in the 1960s to make way for commercial development.

"So the size of the actual parish is only about 1,300 people - and they really live on the outskirts."

Christ Church, Crewe
Christ Church was built at the height of the neo-Gothic style in England

He said that he feared the church would have to be closed unless more people chose to attend.


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