A CONGREGATION will gather this weekend to bid a final farewell to their church after 120 years.

Shotley Bridge Methodist Church, built in 1894 and opened the following year, will hold its final service on Sunday.

Former minister The Rev Maurice Staton and current minister The Rev Andy Longe will conduct the farewell service, starting at 10.30am.

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The landmark two-storey stone-built church on Front Street, inside Shotley Bridge Conservation Area, is being put up for sale for offers in the region of £225,000.

In the short term, parishioners will be able to use alternative places of worship in nearby Blackhill.

However, in the long term discussions are taking place about plans to merge four churches in the Blackhill and Shotley Bridge area into a single church on the site of St Andrew’s URC Church, in Durham Road, Blackhill.