Prayers answered with church saved

THE old Bundamba Methodist Church on Brisbane Road is to be saved and incorporated into a car yard development.

An agreement in principle reached a few days ago between Ipswich City Council, the developers Michael and Chris Rojek and National Trust president Dr John Jackson means the historic church will not be relocated or demolished.

A demolition application in January caused a community outcry.

Michael Rojek said he was happy with the new agreement.

“(Cost) wasn't our priority. We're happy to do the right thing by the community,” he said.

Depending upon how long the council takes to approve the development application, Mr Rojek hopes to open the Auto City business within six to eight months.

Divisional Councillor Trevor Nardi said he too was happy with the “adaptive reuse” of the church.

“An application will now go forward to council to retain the old church onsite which will now be incorporated into the motor vehicle showroom,” he said.

“The church will be moved slightly back on a new alignment and the demolition of the brick church beside the old wooden church will still proceed.

“(The plan) will complement the Ross Llewellyn Toyota reuse of the old Mines Rescue Building and fit into the heritage of the Memorial Park on the opposite side of Brisbane Road.”

Cr Nardi said he would work with the developers to retain much of the originality of the old building.

“(I am) hopeful that the original stained glass windows which were removed at the time of the sale can be returned and incorporated into the restored building,” he said.

“A special area will be incorporated in the new restored building with photos of the original church up to the present-day, as well as a plaque in memory of the two young gentlemen who are buried onsite.”

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