The former United Reformed Church building in High Street, Dover, which could become a place of worship again.
A former church that was virtually destroyed by fire may become a place of worship again.
The Rev Mo Ekiugbo of Folkestone-based Christ Embassy International is asking the district council for permission for the change of use and conversion of the former United Reformed Church in High Street to a worship space with various rooms. The scheme involves the erection of a new roof and other remedial works.
The church originally opened in 1904 and closed in 2003 when the congregation joined with members of Tower Hamlets and London Road Methodist churches to form The Beacon Church and Christian Centre on the London Road site.
Planning permission was given in 2005 for the URC building to be converted into flats and work on the conversion was nearly complete when fire swept through the building in September 2007.
Christ Embassy is an international church movement which has millions of followers worldwide and in 2009 it set up its international office and a conference centre in the former Eurotunnel Exhibition Centre at Cheriton.
Thousands of people attend Christ Embassy events all over the world and people who are in wheelchairs are said to have been healed by the church leader, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. He is described as a teacher, healing minister, television host and bestselling author who has “helped millions experience a victorious and purposeful life in God’s world”.
Christ Embassy International already have cell groups in Dover who are said to have “fallen in love” with the URC building and want to restore it to its former glory.
The first floor will become a flexible worship space with more than 300 seats and a second floor open-plan gallery space is planned overlooking the first floor.
There will also be a stage, sound and lighting gallery, meetings rooms and offices.
A spokesman for Christ Embassy International said they hoped the residents of Dover would benefit immensely from the building being converted back into a church which will also be available to be used by the community and may offer free meals for local people.
The fire which swept through the former United Reformed Church in 2007.