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LATEST: West Malling church saved from closure

Wednesday 1st April 2020

A CHURCH at the ‘heart of the parish’ has been saved from closure following a public outcry to stop it being sold for housing.

The St. Thomas More Church in West Malling had been earmarked as development potential, alongside the priest’s house and a pre-school, recently converted from stables at a cost of £85,000.

Father Peter Soper (pictured) who has lived on the site for over 20 years, said; We are absolutely delighted. The West Malling parish covers 36 miles and ten villages which have all been bought together through the church.”

At a meeting on February 20, the Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, told campaigners that the Catholic church, attended by over 200 regular worshippers each Sunday, will no longer be sold.

While the church has been saved, questions remain over the future of the pre-school and parish centre in Lucks Hill.  A statement from the archdiocese said they were looking for ways to keep the school and parish centre at the current location, but confirmed the priest’s house will still be sold.