Salvation Army church to close

A HEMSWORTH church that has served the community for more than 100 years is closing its doors next month.

The Salvation Army Church and Community Centre offers local residents a coffee morning every Tuesday with a chance to buy donated clothes and other goods and a religion-based ladies’ meeting every Thursday, alongside the church’s usual Sunday service.

The Bush Street church has been forced to close due to a lack of funds and dwindling numbers.

The final service will take place on Sunday, July 28, at 5.30pm.

Volunteer Joan Hotchkiss has been attending the church for more than 60 years, after joining its Sunday school when she was a child.

She said: “The building at the back has been condemned and we need a new kitchen. In total it would cost £25,000 and that is money we haven’t got. We can’t manage without a kitchen.

“The coffee morning is well attended but the numbers at Sunday service have dropped over the years. We just can’t keep going. It is a shame and it will be a big loss to the community. The women at the coffee morning were nearly crying when they found out the church was closing. It is not like your usual coffee morning - we are like a family. The same people come here for years and get together every week.”

Audrey Foster, from Hemsworth, said: “I have been coming here such a long time - for years. I am going to miss it, where else will I go? There isn’t anywhere else. I have made friends here.”

Helen Williams has also been attending for many years. She said: “I come here every week - most people do. They come all the way from Ackworth to be here. I will definitely miss it.”