St Michael’s and All Angels Church sold

St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Clyde has been sold but the buyers’ identity remains a...
St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Clyde has been sold but the buyers’ identity remains a mystery. PHOTOS: ADAM GILCHRIST/LJ HOOKER
The Anglican Diocese of Dunedin is remaining tight-lipped over the sale of St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Clyde.

Tenders for the 1877 category 2 heritage-listed schist church, church hall, and category 1 heritage-listed stone wall that surrounds the 2580sq m site in Matau St closed on January 21.

Yesterday Anglican Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Dr Steven Benford confirmed buyers had been found.

Details of the buyers were not forthcoming, nor were the number of tenders received.

Price paid was also not disclosed.

A bird’s-eye view of the Matau St site.
A bird’s-eye view of the Matau St site.
The Dunedin Diocesan Trust Board simply confirmed there were a number of tenders put in, and the board and the parish were pleased with the outcome.

Dr Benford said he would travel to Clyde on Friday to conduct the secularisation of the church, allowing it — along with the hall and land, to be handed to new owners on March 26.

"This has followed an extensive process for the Dunstan Parish, including considerable community interest in the building with a desire to see it retained in some way."

The new owners were formerly from the area and had indicated they wanted to keep the church intact, Dr Benford said.

They were also exploring the process to strengthen its Historic Place Category to ensure it could continue in its present form.

The interior of the church.
The interior of the church.
They were also willing to explore how the building could be available for wider community use but would eventually build a house sympathetic with the heritage of the area on part of the land for their own use.

Funds released from the sale would allow the Dunstan Parish to progress with plans to strengthen ministry in the Central Otago area.

"It is always hard to let go of a building like St Michael’s, which was pivotal as the mother church for Anglicans in the Central Otago and Upper Clutha area.

"This has been a sacred space for so many of the years and it is hard to say goodbye, although it is encouraging that the intention is for the church building to continue to have a presence in Clyde."

Dr Benford looked forward with interest to see what was going to happen on the site under new owners’ guardianship but was mindful the church was "never — and never has been — buildings, but is always people who are called together in community".

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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