Church to sell surplus property

EXPRESSIONS of interest are being sought by those interested in buying either the Uniting Church’s Surface Hill or Red Hill Rd properties.

Church spokesman Greg Nissen said after the two congregations were amalgamated the church had surplus property.

Where the congregations used to worship at both churches they now only use one.

“We spend a considerable amount of time maintaining property we do not fully utilise,” Mr Nissen said.

“As a church we think we should spend more time spreading the word, not mowing lawns.”

Now the church is keeping its options open and seeing what prices it is likely to get on both properties; if the price is right the church will consider selling both and building a new place of worship on a greenfield site.

“Going forward we think a church building could be used seven days a week with lots of different services, not just once a week to worship. This can be a little difficult with a cathedral type building, unless you have considerable funds. We think a church is more than a building – it’s the people.”

Mr Nissen said the Surface Hill property on the corner of Channon St and Barter St was historically significant as one of the few places that miners could find gold nuggets on the ground and was the oldest wooden church in Gympie.

He said the wall that surrounded the church and the church itself were heritage listed, but there was sufficient land surrounding the structures that could still be developed.

The property was purchased by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in April 1875 for 11 pounds, 18 shillings and three pence and the church dates back to 1890. It sits on 5755sq m with four buildings in total.

The Red Hill Rd land comprises 7659sq m with four buildings also.

Savills Australia is exclusively marking the properties. Mr Nissen said the firm had extensive experience working with the church.