CONTROVERSY has arisen as a church in Hereford is set to be destroyed.

A proposal has been approved, despite protests, to demolish St Barnabas Church, also known as Oasis Church, which currently stands in Venns Lane.

Once the building is levelled the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance plans to sell the site so it can be redeveloped as a care home.

Since 2008, the church had been used for community purposes and for occasional worship, with the upper portion being leased to a local charity.

But a bid put forward earlier in the year said its continued use was not felt to be sustainable, particularly as it was in need of investment to address several issues.

It said the church was no longer needed by the parish of St Peter, which has three other churches, and it was declared closed for regular public worship in 2019.

In March 2020, the building was leased to the Oasis Church, an independent evangelical church, but the bid said it was no longer possible to proceed with the lease.


The church was then marketed alongside surrounding land owned by the Diocese of Hereford and it was proposed to demolish the church building for inclusion in the development of the site.

On October 31, after a months-long consultation, the matter was considered by the Commissioners' Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee, who agreed that they should go ahead with the proposal.

This move has been met with significant local backlash, with Councillor Frank Cornthwaite claiming that St Barnabas is still a popular meeting space with five active Christian fellowships operating out of the building and that when the consultation was carried out only one person voted for the proposal, with 126 voting against it.

He said: “One of the top used churches in Hereford itself would be flattened just for money.

“It’s now up to church commissioners who don’t live in Hereford."

He was keen to stress that the fight to save the church is not over yet.

“I’m going to keep representing it,” he said.