By Tom Orde| Britain |
The Methodist Church on Burgess Road was put on the market earlier this year with a price tag of £1.2million.
It has now been given a new lease of life and been snapped up by a Sikh group called Gurdwara Khalsa Darbar.
The Grade II listed building which is thought to have been built in the 1930s is undergoing a £50,000 revamp.
Two prayer rooms have already been refurbished, according to a spokesperson for the community group.
Meanwhile, the building will “stay in keeping” with the character of the area and remain part of Swaythling heritage.
Designed by Herbert Collins, the church has seen a dwindling congregation in recent years and its state has deteriorated.
With a neo-Georgian style and octagonal shape, the redbrick building could hold 1,000 worshippers at a time.
A spokesperson for the Gurdwara said: “Part of the rich heritage that Herbert Collins created in Swaythling, is the Methodist Church in Burgess Road, for nearly a century this building has graced the local skyline and it is a unique example of the work of his genius.
“Over the past few years with the decline of the Methodist congregation the building has sadly deteriorated and indeed needs a considerable amount of money spent to restore this grade two listed building.”
“The building was recently put up for sale with all the uncertainty of its future which comes with new ownership.”
The spokesperson added: “However I am delighted that members of the local Sikh community have purchased the building and now have started a complete restoration project and the Gurdwara Khalsa Darbar have taken stewardship of this wonderful building.
“They a keen to play their role in our local community and give special recognition of Herbert Collins his work and further plans around this will be announced in due course.”
Measuring 14,575 Sq Ft, the former church was constructed with a steel frame with brick elevations under a domed roof with parapets.
The two-storey building includes dance studios, changing rooms, and an office and hall.
Senior elder of the Gurdwara, Mr Amrik Gill, has invited worshippers to ceremonies to mark the building becoming a Temple.
They will take place at 12pm today and 12pm on Friday.
Read the full story, ‘Southampton Methodist church in Burgess Road to become new Sikh temple’ (Southern Daily Echo, 22 July 2021), here.
The ‘green’ gurdwara for tomorrow (Asia Samachar, 7 July 2021)
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