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No objections for mass at St Andrew’s

Published: 19th Nov 2002

Please note this is an archived Press Release

St Andrew’s Church, Upleatham

REDCAR & Cleveland Council’s Executive has today agreed to raise no objections for a mass at one of the country’s oldest churches.

Councillors gave the Council the go-ahead to approach the Church Commissioners for England to allow the Western Rite – Orthodox Catholic Faith to hold a mass at the redundant St Andrew’s Church, Upleatham.

An earlier request by the denomination to hold a service was cancelled by the Council following objections from the Roman Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the Anglican diocese of Whitby.

Today, Council Leader David Walsh said: “Whilst the Council is not an ecclesiastical authority, and is not experienced in doctrinal rights, I believe we should accept the application on the basis of the case that the church put forward and the difficulty in getting to the root of the objections from the local Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.
“We also felt that while we should accept the application, any costs in terms of negotiating with the Church Commissioners, should rightly be borne by the church making the application.”

The church, which is in Council ownership, has been disused for many years, but the Executive has also wants to investigate the possibility of allowing its use for wedding ceremonies.

Councillor Mike Stephen told the Executive: “Perhaps we should think of a marketing strategy for this church. It’s a tourist attraction and to have a wedding ceremony in what’s believed to be one of the oldest and smallest churches in England might be quite popular.”

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