Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting BA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Works starts to demolish historical Droitwich chapel
12:20pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 in Droitwich News
WORKERS have moved in to start the demolition of a historic Droitwich chapel.
The 19th Century St Mary de Witton Chapel, situated in the middle of St Mary’s Churchyard, off Worcester Road, is being torn down because it is in a dangerous state of disrepair.
The building, which has not been used for public worship for more than 30 years, has spent recent years roped off to warn people of the danger of falling tiles.
Many residents were against plans to demolish the building and are unhappy the site had been allowed to get into its current condition.
The current mid-Victorian chapel had had some limited use for small funerals until the 1970s, and a subsequent brief period as a chapel of rest for a local funeral director.
An inspection revealed that work needed to be done, and subsequent rapid deterioration lent urgency to the need to make a decision on its future.
A public meeting, organised by the Parish of Droitwich Spa, was called at the town’s community hall in 2010 to give residents and people with relatives buried nearby to discuss the building’s future. Many people called for the site to be reopened and felt part of the town’s history would be lost if it were demolished.
However, church officials decided they could not justify the large expenditure needed to repair the chapel.
An application for its demolition was submitted last year to Wychavon District Council by the Worcester diocesan board of finance.
Workers are now at the site and have begun the task of knocking down the building.
Father Doug Chaplin, from the Parish of Droitwich Spa, said: “I think that most people realise that the cost of repairs couldn’t be justified, even if they regret it.
“We will be leaving the foundations of the chapel in place and putting a plaque at the site to commemorate the building.
“All things of historical interest will be saved and looked after. A memorial stone from an ancient grave in the old medieval church, which was then used as a door step for the current chapel, will be fully restored and placed in St Andrew’s Church.”