A CHURCH that closed as a place of worship more than 20 years ago is set to be used for its original purpose once again.

Bournemouth St Mary in Holdenhurst Road, Springbourne, is due to be sold and used by Breath of Life Faith Ministries.

The church needs its own building as it is currently based at St Michael’s Church of England Primary School.

The Church Commissioners have launched a consultation on the proposals for the former St Mary’s church building.

Members of the public can make comments until the consultation closes on Monday, December 31.

A public drop-in session is also being held at St Clement’s Church between 4pm and 7pm on Thursday.

St Mary’s Church closed for regular public worship in 1997 and, two years after its closure, the building was used by the Dorset Christian Activity Centre.

However, according to the Church Commissioners “this use could not be sustained and subsequently ceased”.

In 2003, a proposal came forward from Neighbourhood Management in Springbourne to use the church building for a variety of voluntary and community groups. This led to the building being leased to the Bourne Spring Trust in 2007.

“Unfortunately, the Bourne Spring Trust was unsuccessful in obtaining grant funding for the desired alterations to the building and then found it difficult to meet their liabilities under the lease,” the Church Commissioners said.

In 2017, the Trust decided to close down and surrendered the lease back to the Diocese of Winchester.

This year, the building was marketed and the Diocese recommended proceeding with an offer from Breath of Life Faith Ministries to use the church as a place of worship.

Breath of Life, founded by senior pastor Toyin Fakorede, is a Pentecostal church, a registered charity and a member of the Evangelical Alliance.

Breath of Life is not proposing to make any architectural or structural changes to the Grade II listed, red-brick building, which was built in 1926-34 and designed by Sir Charles Nicholson.

The church was first listed in 1995.