The empty St John’s Church building in Stone will be converted into a restaurant after it was bought at auction by a local property developer.
Alistair Howells from Aston bought the building for £157,000 at a Louis Taylor auction in Hanley on Tuesday night. He will convert the Grade II listed building – which has been empty since August 2012 – in a partnership with Affy Moini, owner of The Olives restaurant in Stafford Street.
Affy said today: “We’re so excited about this. It’s going to be the place to go, not just for Stone people but for people across Staffordshire and wider. This is a major £1 million project and it has huge potential. We’ve already had talks with the council about getting the conversion just right and, when we have the relevant permissions, we’re ready to get going on the work.”
The St John’s congregation voted in May 2012 to move out of the building. They had been fundraising for years to raise £750,000 to repair its community building, an effort that was suspended because of the scale of the problems with the church itself, meaning the total amount needed to stay at the building had risen to a huge £1.75 million.
The congregation held their final service in the building in August last year before moving out. Services have since been held at Walton Priory Middle School.
We took lots of photos inside the building just a couple of days before it was locked up. Click HERE to see them.
Stone Historical Society chairman Philip Leason wrote a great History Monthly post on the church.
Click HERE to read it.