A former sports shop in the town centre could be turned into a church office and pastoral care centre.
The building at 27-29 St George’s Street in Stamford has been empty for some time after Precision Outdoors moved out. It has now been purchased on behalf of St George’s Church which intends to move its office and pastoral care functions from a rented building at 15 Maiden Lane to the new site.
An application for change of use and listed building consent has now been submitted to planners in South Kesteven District Council’s development services department.
Associate pastor Lawrence Davie, said St George’s Church funds two staff from debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) who will be based in the new centre and offer free impartial advice to people in need.
He said: “There will be rooms the financial advice team can use for one-to-one appointments and the pastoral care centre will also provide help to people on a wide range of other issues including homelessness and other personal difficulties.
“The building, which will be known as The Hub will also be used by people enquiring about weddings and baptisms and general church issues.”
Assuming planning permission is granted it is hoped that building work could start in August with the building ready for use after Christmas.
The building is Grade II-listed and the church intends to refurbish it very sensitively.
Metal shutters will be removed and the current black shop front will be repainted in a brighter colour.
It is understood that when the church vacates its temporary office in Maiden Lane, that building will be converted into a retail unit.
St George’s Church began leasing that office around three years ago after outgrowing a building in St Mary’s Street which is home to a church children’s centre.
Lawrence said that despite figures showing church attendance in Lincolnshire as a whole is falling, Stamford is bucking the trend.