THE Church of Scotland has sold its only church building in the British territory of Gibraltar for £1.3 million after people stopped attending services.
It marked the end of an era for St Andrew’s Church that has been active on the Rock for about 170 years.
The locally registered buyer ‘will fully respect any planning guidelines as well as the former church’s heritage’ according to a GBC report.
According to Gibraltar’s Heritage and Antiquities Law, it cannot be knocked down.
St Andrew’s, located in Gibraltar’s city centre a stone’s throw from the Convent, held its last service in December 2022.
Current governor of Gibraltar Sir David Steel marked the sadness of the city’s Presbyterian congregation was balanced by the pride of serving the community for nearly two centuries.
“The former congregation of St Andrew’s Gibraltar was dissolved at the end of 2022 after struggling with declining numbers for many years,” the Church of Scotland told The Herald.
“A final service was held in the building in December of that year, when thanks was given for the 168 years that the building had hosted worship.”
“Without a congregation in Gibraltar, the Church of Scotland was unable to continue to maintain the building and as a charity we were obligated to put in on the market and seek a fair price.”
It followed the end of Spain’s only other Church of Scotland congregation in Fuengirola, which dated back to 1968.
The Gibraltar sale comes after the Christian denomination’s General Assembly approved a ‘radical’ plan to make it ‘lean and fit for mission in the 21st Century’.
From its portfolio of almost 5,000 properties, it now only owns 3,600 churches, manses, halls and houses.
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