Chapel to close after nearly 200 years

A 195-year-old village chapel will hold its final service on Sunday because falling congregations mean the church can no longer afford to keep it open.

The Methodist chapel in Exning’s Chapel Street was originally built on a plot of land which cost just £3.10 and during its lifetime has been extended three times, the last time in 1939.

Now the church is looking to sell the site but can’t do so until any local community groups have been given the chance to buy it.

Superintendant Minister, the Rev Colin Watkins, said: “We are not entirely certain what will happen with the building – as the trustees we will need to discuss what is in the best interests of the circuit.

“If any group in the community wants to make a bid for the building, they can do so and we would consider it. We have no further use of it and, as of Sunday, it becomes redundant, which is sad for our congregation as some of them have worshipped here for a long time.”

Church steward, Richard Bye, said he thought it unlikely that another group would come forward to take on the chapel.

“We already have a village hall in Exning so there isn’t really a need for another one,” he said.

“Back in the good old days there was a large congregation and up to 200 in the Sunday school. Sadly the Sunday school is no more and the Sunday congregation is down to a handful and unable to meet their financial commitments.”

Sunday’s final service will be at 10am but monthly services will continue on the last Sunday of each month at 2.30pm at Exning Court in Cotton End Road.