Friday, February 03, 2017

Victorian churches sold for a song

Church at GranyaTwo Catholic churches in north-eastern Victoria sold over the weekend for $75,000 and $103,000 respectively.

The churches, which had not been used for services for several years, are located at Granya and Eskdale.

Brian Unthank Real Estate director Susan Hanrahan said each auction took place in front of about 30 spectators and proved successful.

"Albeit they're lower pricing, they both sold well; over their reserves," she said.

Auctioneer Brian Unthank conducted the auctions and the agents said the occasion had appeared to be a sad one for some former parishioners.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Sandhurst acknowledged such sales could be distressing for people, but there were still other church service options in the district.

"It's very difficult at times in these regional areas where there's just not the critical mass of people to allow the doors to stay open," he said.

"And in both these churches' situations, they'd been closed for many years, so a sad event that it is, but unfortunately a necessary one.

"Whilst nobody likes to see churches sold, they're expensive to maintain and there just wasn't the demand for them locally."

The spokesman said it was church policy to use the sale money within the parish.

"I think the important thing to recognise is that any of the funds from the sale stay with the parish so they fund the provision of a priest and the ongoing services that the parish priest is able to provide," he said.

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