25 Sep 2012

Dwindling congregation forces $1m church sale

6:48 am on 25 September 2012

The minister of a Presbyterian church on Auckland's North Shore says the building has to be sold because of a decline in parishioners.

The small Castor Bay church is up for tender because its congregation has decided it's impractical to keep it.

Reverend Don Hall, says the congregation has halved since he arrived in 1999 and is now too small to pay for needed improvements.

"The buildings have had quite a bit of money spent on them in the last five years but they need a huge amount of money to bring them up to full standard.

"The current congregations are small and they don't have the resources to do that."

Reverend Hall says the 15 remaining parishioners, who range in age from 60 to 80, will join a nearby church in Mairangi Bay.

The 100-year-old building sits on a hill with an ocean view and is valued at $1.125 million.

Peter Christoffersen from real estate agency Bayleys, which is handling the sale, says he has already had inquiries from property developers, day care centres and other churches.

The church will close on Good Friday next year.